Or utterly underestimated.
Naturally there is lots of confusion about numbers no matter what point of view from the above two you stick to.
Overestimation of Numbers: Pythagoras and Black Swans
Overestimation has assertively been taking place since ancient times.
For example, Pythagoras, a celebrity authority in ancient Greece, used to spend some of the credibility he gathered from successful dealing with right-angled triangles on stating that everything is a number.
The concept resulted in so much confusion that despite of the fact that the exact words by Pythagoras were “Everything is a number. Or not”, many people still find themselves figuring out the principle does not particularly work. The most recent example I can think of is a research by British scientists who discovered that cheeseburgers start tasting poorer when you think that they are numbers.
Another example of how people overestimate the sense numbers are keen to make is modern applied statistics. Particularly statistics applied to the learning of how curious contemporary economics is. There is a special word ‘quant’ which has recently came in use to name an economist who sees too much patterns in economical numbers.
As some experts who saw the dark side of Wall Street and stayed sane (like Nassim Taleb, the author of the bestselling “Black Swan”) say, there is a chance those quants might have notably contributed to the latest economical perturbations banks like Lehman Brothers can tell you about in picturesque details.
Underestimation of Numbers: Holiday Season Discounts
What concerns underestimation, the confusion here starts already at the very moment you face all the variety of possible examples. Let it be one of the newest instances I met though. The holiday season discount numbers.
Nowadays discounts for everything on the holiday season at the end of a year have become the natural way of things, a good tradition like the Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas tree. However, sometimes it feels like companies just underestimate how important the value of discounts can be.
Partially I can understand those companies: figuring out discount values might be a rather tricky thing. Too small discounts might get in confrontation with customer subconscious expectations. Too large ones promise little sense in terms of profit. Although, I think there is rule that always works even in view of all the complexity of the choice: let the discounts be magical.
Handy Backup Special Offer: The Magic of Three Threes
Let’s turn to the number magic you have probably got advantage of already: Handy Backup holiday special offer. It is an example of discount harmony. A pack of three programs gives 33% economy.
And the discount value is both not too small to betray what customers wait from holiday discounts and not too large to provide too small profit to be invested into further product development.
How cool is that way to treat numbers?
P.S.: speaking of Handy Backup holiday discounts, next time we should definitely discuss stereotypes and particularly the breaking of those on the example of a Christmas offer which lasts even though Christmas has already passed: the discount magic of the number 3 will be actual for Handy Backup until January, 10, 2011.
P.P.S.: happy holidays!
Posted by Aleksey Dolgushev