In: Experiments, Doing

This is fantastic (Financial Times):

What’s so strange to an economist who walks into a business is that economists have a set of models that describe how businesses should optimally respond. But that’s not how businesses make decisions.

That’s not to say the economists’ models are necessarily right. The business model can be sensible. It’s usually pretty seat-of-the-pants, built round a set of rules of thumb, but that makes sense because the world is so complex and they have to make so many decisions that they can’t optimise every one. But there are some decisions that are too important to make guesses on – and, in those cases, you either need to find data to help you or to generate your own data through experiments.

This is better; always in favor of “doing;” experimenting in business/+health care:

If you can figure out the answer without having to design and conduct an experiment, that’s wonderful. But a lot of everyday activities that businesses undertake could be transformed into experiments with almost no effort and almost no cost. The way businesses operate more and more lends itself to being able to run these real-world experiments. The lessons are enormous and the costs are often trivial.

The cure for panic is action

Bruce Sterling in his less than concise critique (it was originally a speech, via Boing Boing) of Web 2.0 at Webstock likens the 2.0 movement to the current perils of the financial world and literally says “The way we ran the world was wrong.”  But the speech touches much more than Web 2.0.  Here’s the pertinent health care quote:

The American health system is a market failure — and most other people’s health systems don’t make much commercial sense.

And now that the world’s problems (plentifully laid out in the speech) are coming to a head, change is coming:

I’ve never seen so much panic around me, but panic is the last thing on my mind. My mood is eager impatience. I want to see our best, most creative, best-intentioned people in world society directly attacking our worst problems. I’m bored with the deceit. I’m tired of obscurantism and cover-ups. I’m disgusted with cynical spin and the culture war for profit. I’m up to here with phony baloney market fundamentalism. I despise a prostituted society where we put a dollar sign in front of our eyes so we could run straight into the ditch.

The cure for panic is action. Coherent action is great; for a scatterbrained web society, that may be a bit much to ask. Well, any action is better than whining. We can do better.

I’m not gonna tell you what to do. I’m an artist, I’m not running for office and I don’t want any of your money. Just talk among yourselves. Grow up to the size of your challenges. Bang out some code, build some platforms you don’t have to duct-tape any more, make more opportunities than you can grab for your little selves, and let’s get after living real lives.

Opportunity arises in difficult situations and that opportunity is most definitely upon us.  The world needs an abundance of selfless problem solvers, health care too.  “The cure for panic is action.”