Now I remember when I was young, football was pretty much all about the final score.
Nowadays we have Sky and football punditry and at half time we get bombarded with statistics and replays. Why, because apparently it's what people want.
However, the thing about "what people want" is that most people don't know what they want. They do after you give it to them, but mostly they don't know.
The late Steve Jobs hit the nail on the head when he said something like, "you don't ask people what they want because they don't know". If said Henry Ford, I asked people what they wanted in 1909 they would have said faster and more comfortable horses!
Ok, so far so what.....here's the so what....sometimes you just have to present something to your clients to see if they like it.
Wow, what a groundbreaker!
But what does that have to do with football?
The changes in the way football has been presented on TV were not as a result of what people said they wanted, it's a result of trial and error, but mostly it's a result of competition.
Before Sky came along, football on TV was a bit rubbish. First of all it was in black and white! ( ok I made that up to see if you're paying attention!), no really, if you're over a certain age (ahem) TV football coverage was very amateur. For a start you only saw about four or five games out of the whole league. in Scotland you didn't really see English Division 1 as it was and when you did, all games were commented on by Brian Moore. In Scotland you had a choice of Arthur Montford, Archie Macpherson or of you were really unlucky, Bob Crampsey. There were about four or five angles, replays were a bit non-existent and no body bothered about statistics.
Statistics were all very American. American Football ( rugby with padding for boys who don't want to get hurt) was all about yards and percentages. We saw, but we didn't care.
Then they introduced it into the Premier League. We saw, but we still didn't care.
Then one day, about 3 or 4 years after they first introduced statistics, I remember a friend in the pub droning on about the number of corners and shots on target that Team A had over Team B the last time they met, so naturally, Team A were favourites to win.
All of a sudden, statistics meant something.
In fact, the whole betting industry is built around them.
Imagine if the betting industry started to put odds on law firm survival?
If it did, what are your law firm stats like?
How do you measure and manage referrals or website hits? If you do, how do they compare to last month...the month before...last year?
How many clients do you have? What is the average spend? What is the lifetime value of your clients? And so on.
The thing about proper statistics ( or as management consultants call them, KPIs or Key Performance Indicators) is that they tell a story. They tell the story of how well or how badly your firm is doing. And if you don't have any at all, or if your whole team don't know what they are, then your heading for relegation; but in this climate, that means oblivion.