I’ve got a new business idea for anyone who wants it: become a paid data liar, by offering to find facts to fit any point of view your clients want to put forth. Call it facts for hire. It would be a bit like the hired gun in the old west, but more suited for today’s times.
For example, your client wants to say that eggs are unhealthy? “Sure,” you say, “I’ll find you facts for that.” You quote a price, clients like it, and off you go. You’ll come back with the story about eggs and cholesterol. And of course you’ll tell just the one side of the story. Or you can do the same with coffee, milk, most any food or drink.
And don’t think your business would be limited to facts about foods or health. You could easily find facts to justify almost any position about business, the economy, entrepreneurship, and so forth.
I think of the iPhone app ads. State a position, about any issue, and there’s a fact for that.
There was a time when good information was worth money because it was hard to find. Now good information is abundant, so much so that every view that’s possible to be imagined can be supported with charts and graphs. William Blake wrote:
Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth.
Now you can add: and we can find facts to prove it.
If you don’t believe me, consider all those claims in the political ads we heard during the recent election season; or global warming. And in the areas I normally follow, such as entrepreneurship education, or the cost of startups, or the prospects of venture capital, or the rise of angel investment, facts are just as easy to find.
So, if you’re running a business, what do you do with the analytics? How many decisions do you make based on the research? Good luck with that.