Bias and Why to be Wary of It

I am going to use two links here for reference:

Interview with a VC partner at Sequoia Capital, the second dis a long You Tube Ad for the Chevy Volt.

Sequoia Capital partner Mark Kvamme

Did You Know Video

It’s ok for a Brand to try to convince us into buying or trying something. I champion Brands and if I can help them figure out how to get an action from someone I will, but I will always do it ethically.

During the 2008 election cycle I got many surveys from both the DNC and RNC asking my opinions. So many questions were biased and didn’t give you the proper choices, they actually corralled you into what they wanted to hear. Same with Research of all sorts. Often Brand R&D efforts are skewed to trumpeting success because the folks doing development naturally are biased towards success. If this wasn’t true why do so many product launches fail? And anytime there is an economic incentive for someone to hype, promote etc they will because their livelihood depends on it. You normally want to please the person paying you. Remember all those’s and Sub-prime Mortgages that went bust, while the promoters and ones selling the hype made money knowing ahead of time they would be screwing people? Or the ratings agencies afraid to rate bonds as junk because they were afraid of losing business since the bond issuers paid for the rating?

The Chevy Volt spot is specially an example of skewed facts. It is easy to cherry pick and not give the full story. Some of the facts make you say DUH! India because of the massive population the 25% with the highest IQ’s are more in quantity than the US population. That does not mean their 25% is more intelligent or has higher IQ’s than say our top 25%. Or the number of jobs someone will have between 18 and 34. They don’t qualify this with the ‘because this generation got shafted, the worker-employer fabric having been destroyed over the last 25 years, and the crash in the economy keeping this group underemployed for years to come’. My point is bad facts, very poor qualification of the facts so why use them?

Next I just want to SHRED Mark Kvamme. Sequoia Capital made a killing during the boom. In fact many companies they backed and then cashed out of after the IPO left investors decimated. While VC’s have a very important part to play in our economy you need to remember they only care about 1 thing only, and that is a return on their Equity Investment. They care nothing about the workers or investors beyond when they cash out. So never listen to a VC when it comes to talking about areas of business they invest in because they are inherently biased towards hype and promotion. If Facebook goes IPO at less than a $14 billion valuation all the investors lose millions if not billions of on paper equity value. They are going to do everything to hype Social Media as the end all. So he is going to hype all Social Media and Brands needs to cut through this BS to know Social Media has it’s place but it will never replace traditional Advertising.

While Facebook keeps a clean site Twitter is a scary place. You might be placing Ads next to tweets from Racists, Nazi’s, Haters, Preachers, screaming Satanists acting like Preachers, angry people wanting to kill Liberals and angry people wanting to kill Conservatives (ask for the hashtags!). And I do believe Facebook will go the way of Myspace and Friendster in the next 5 years so the day they have their IPO I am personally shorting the stock.

I could write a book on instances of bias but hammered it enough! So don’t believe the hype in anything and always remember everyone has a bias. It’s just human nature versus some evil plan. Beware of it.


About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
This entry was posted in Bias, media buying, social media, social networks, vc. Bookmark the permalink.

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