“Quantified Self,” fads, and shark-jumping.

January 21, 2014 by Olivier Blanchard - 2 Comments

This happens every few months: a few high profile bloggers pick up on a keyword, try to be the first to write a book about it, and legions of bloggers immediately roll in to try to score that fourth or fifth spot on Google searches for the term.

Like some of you, I am not a huge fan of fads (or hype around new tech that’s not really as awesome as people make it out to be). The growing undercurrent of#OMGQuantifiedSelfIsTheBestThingEVERRRRR is no different. Yes, it will be a gazillion dollar industry because people will buy anything shiny they see on TV. And yes, Chia pets still sell a ton of SKUs every year. Tell me a story I haven’t heard yet.

Having said that, far be it from me to get in the way the the latest bandwagon as it rolls by, so if you’re into it, here’s everything you need to know about it in 3 graphics: “Your Sensored Life: An Expanded View of Quantified Self” by Mike Gotta. Just make sure to assign proper attribution when you fire off all those “insights” in front of a roomful of conference attendees. And yeah… if you feel that Mike just took the wind out of your sails when it comes to speaking with authority about this topic, it’s probably because he just did.

On the other hand, if you weren’t planning on writing your very own version of the Quantified Self Bible (or launch an exciting series of webinars on the subject), check out this counterpoint by Dick Talens on Pando.com – aptly titled “Why Quantified Self Is Bullshit.” Good insights there. They focus almost exclusively on the impact of QS on fitness, diet and health (not so much on marketing and consumer insights data funnels), but his observations have real market ramifications, especially as they relate to non-medical applications.

The comment section is open, so feel free to add your two cents.

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