Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

How to Hide Your Opinions as Data

Here’s an idea for you. Use this to influence politics, win fame and/or fortune, or attract the opposite sex. Push a point of view. Make your own opinions look like data.

bigstock-Cartoon-Sheep-Flock-34387394.jpg

First: Invent a high-sounding name for an association or interest group in some significant topic area. Call it the Association of this or Federation of that. Make it non profit. Make sure it sounds like an official-sounding group, representing people who matter in the topic area. For example, entrepreneurs, or small business owners, voters, concerned citizens, like that.

Second: Generate, publish, and curate content that cushions and maybe hides your one-sided opinions on two-sided (well, multi-sided, because there are rarely only two sides) social, political, and economic interests inside high-sounding larger issues. Attract people who share your point of view.

Third: Generate official-sounding research and data by asking the people you’ve attracted to your one-sided tribe about the issue you want to influence. Since you have a high-sounding official name (small business, or business owners, for example) your research seems to prove that your point of view is valid, or common, or the majority.

And there you have it. An issue-oriented group pushing one side only publishing one-sided data that sounds like more than it is.

Is this any organization you know?

(image: bigstockphoto)

3 responses to “How to Hide Your Opinions as Data”

  1. […] so.  Nowadays there is data to prove anything, regardless of how absurd. And people routinely hide their opinions as data. Eggs are good? There’s data to prove it. No, eggs are bad? There’s data to prove that too. The […]

  2. Elijah says:

    If people believe it, then it is real in its consequences.

  3. Steve says:

    In my opinion, this pretty much describes the majority of DC based trade associations and think tanks. With the notable exception of Pew backed think tanks and a few others, non-partisan think tanks and trade associations in the policy space are pretty much a thing of the past.

    Too bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the Bplans newsletter:

Expert business tips and advice delivered weekly.