- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press (23 February 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250080681
- ISBN-13: 978-1250080684
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
- Customer Reviews: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,39,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends Hardcover – 23 Feb 2016
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*A New York Times bestseller*
*Named one of the "Best Business Books of 2016" by strategy + business*
*Named one of the "Most Important Books of 2016" by Inc.*
*A Forbes 2016 "Must Read Business Book"*
*Named a "Book Retailers Should Read in 2016" by Shelf Awareness*
"Lindstrom's uncanny ability to detect and decipher seemingly unrelated clues will inspire reporters and detectives as well as companies looking for ways to develop new products and ideas." ―Kirkus
"In today’s business environment, Big Data inspires religious levels of devotion and Martin Lindstrom is an atheist. … In sum, Big Data has problems and Martin is successful at showing how Small Data is essential to overcoming them." ―from the foreword by Chip Heath
"Martin Lindstrom channels cutting-edge forensics to reveal the dichotomy between data and wisdom. If you love 'Bones' and 'CSI,' this book is your kind of candy." ―Paco Underhill, author, Why We Buy
“Martin’s best book to date. A personal, intuitive, powerful way to look at making an impact with your work.” ―Seth Godin, author, Purple Cow
"Although the data explored in this book may be small, their implications for human behavior are considerable, making them invaluable for anyone wishing to better understand the factors that spur purchase decisions." ―Robert Cialdini, author of Influence
“Interesting reflections about enduring human difference in an increasingly homogenised world.”--Andrew Hill, The Financial Times
About the Author
MARTIN LINDSTROM is a foremost consultant to a who's who of leading companies. He is the author of the international bestseller, Buyology, and five other books on branding and consumer behavior. In 2009, Time Magazine recognized him as among the top 100 Most Influential People in The World, and this year, an independent study among 30,000 marketers named him the world's number #1 brand building expert.
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27 customer reviews
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Books which are counter intuitive and go against the conventional grain have always fascinated me. In a world where big data and all its analyses is being touted as the ultimate nirvana for marketers, pollsters and for everyone and anyone to understand trends in human behavior, buying trends, prediction of weather….and possibly one book being published every week on Big Data and its central role in our lives……here comes a nifty book which looks at life in a quirky way and spins its own idiosyncratic theories. Thank you Abhinav Shrivastav for recommending this book to me.
I don’t read too many books on brands and marketing…and therefore never heard of Martin Lindstrom before. He is a best selling author and has some half a dozen books which were on the NYT best-seller list, TIME magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and he is a consultant to the Who’s Who of Wall street including Disney, Pepsi, Kellogs advising clients on how to repurpose their marketing and brand strategies. His insights have not just led to an upswing in the fortunes of the brands and companies but at times…at the entire industry itself.
This book is a heady cocktail of an arm chair travellers curiosity (as a global consultant, his works takes him to the far corners of the world), a bit of forensics, lots of psychology, an acute eye to observe the quirky things in people’s lives across the world…and a remarkable ability to connect all of these to understand human nature and behavior and advise companies on what to do next to arrest their failing fortunes. Combined with his wit and a breezy style of writing, Lindstrom takes us thru multiple case studies which are informative, entertaining and also insightful.
Most of his theories are built around his assignments – and we go thru a romp of the whole world – from India to Saudi Arabia to Russia to Japan and many more….as Lindstrom tries to understand companies / brands and their problems as he goes about on his interesting assignments with a Russian web-site to Kellogs ( his story on Kellogs is based in India and it is worth buying this book only for this chapter) to Lego to Pepsi to Disney.
His observations on the way people in different parts of the world…think and behave is astute. He has distilled his stellar experience into an interesting nifty book ( sub 250 pages).
He is however not a big data heretic….and he firmly believes that it has its own role to play to understand the world and its people and all that they do….his insistence is on not losing out our perceptive skills to study the tiny clues in the way people think and behave which at times unravel multiple mysteries and provide solutions to the issues confounding us.
This is not a book only for folks with interest in Marketing and Brands. Will be a delightful read for anyone interesting in human behavior and trying to understand the motives behind the behavior.
My rating: 4/5.
My key takeaways from this book are:
• Observe and interact to answer questions like: How do groups of people form? What are their core beliefs? What do they aspire for and why? How do they create social ties? How does one culture differ from other? Do any of these local beliefs, habits or rituals have a universal significance.
• Insight is an amalgamation of gestures, habits, likes, dislikes, hesitation, speech patterns, decors, passwords, tweets, status updates and more
• Desire – there is always a story , which may be common to common set of people depending on country , segments etc (case of fridge magnets in Siberia )
• An external person (cultural outsider/ foreigner) is best suited for insight related exercise as locals will miss the obvious as that is a part of their life and will not see as notable.
Martin goes ahead to share many of his experiences in insight-ing. The fact that he had tons of things to share and that fact that there are many cross-references between various cases in the real life makes the reading of this book a tad difficult. So, while Martin writes about a case, there are various other anecdotes which jumps in , which at least distracted me from the main story. Nonetheless, it gave an interesting “insight” into this whole journey of discovery.
One of the most interesting case for me was Tally Weijl “Click and Mortar” dressing room. A brilliant amalgamation of insight and technology. The other interesting case was of Jenny Craig, which involved an amalgamation of many other insights like Trollbeads. This just went to prove that one does know which insight becomes useful when.
But it all comes down to the fact that one needs to have a certain type of resilience to commit to this task of insight generation. One has to have to have the audacity to even ask for permission of get into bedrooms, bathrooms (to see how the tooth brushes are kept!!) , scan the refigerators (especially the “guilt”part) and even at times to ask the senior members of a company to use their own product (Ansell executive not able to open their own manufactured condom packs in darkness, what an insight!!)
Overall, a great book. However, I am not sure why Martin is so unhappy with Big Data. To my mind, Big Data is about finding our multiple correlations – unusual correlations as Martin himself puts it - within a given set of data. Big Data estabilishes correlations, and once a correlation looks interesting, Insights have to generated to establish the causality behind it and to see are there any hidden messages in that. I see both of them complementing and not competing. I just wish Martin would not have spent so much time trying to fight the “Big Data”.
I paused at many places to corroborate the observations in my life and lifestyle. Actually, only if one pauses to observe, one would find that there are billions of small things, small clues, small takes and small picks everywhere and all around us.
It is strongly recommended also from sheer knowledge sharing point of view. I not only strongly recommend the same, I also recommend it to be completed in a single sitting.