You can’t control the way people think, but you can control the size of your focus groups. If you don’t have the right size, your research and conclusions won’t be as robust.
The size of focus groups is a good example of what I mean. We have many thousands of people who do the same research, but as a result of having too many, we may end up with the wrong conclusions. Too many researchers may also end up with a weak methodology. I know this because I had a team of researchers, and there was a certain amount of time devoted to discussing what we should be doing and how we should be doing it.
The most common mistake is focusing too much on a small number of people for too long. The trouble is that you may get just a few people with the right answers, and you might end up with a bad set of results. For example, you might say something like, “I think we should start with 30 people,” but you are probably going to get only 30 people with the correct answer. This is called a Type I error, and it’s a problem.
The key is to test the hypothesis out in a large group, and to find out what, if anything, you got wrong.
I don’t think it’s a problem to test the hypothesis out in a large group. But you must test it in a large group and find out what, if anything, you got right.
In this particular trailer, you can see that Colt was a Type I error. He said a person with a Type I error called him and said, “Okay, this is so stupid, but I can write a sentence.” It’s like a super-smart man saying, “This is so stupid, but I can write a sentence.
The problem is, when you have a super-smart man saying something, you can’t hear what it is. That is a Type II error. A Type II error is when you hear someone speak intelligently and can understand what they are saying, but you can’t get a clear picture of it. You can get a clear picture of it if you ask them to describe it for you, but that is what I feel like we are looking at here.
It’s a hard thing to write. It’s like a super-smart man saying, I want to be an astronaut. The only thing that comes to mind is the way I feel about doing this. I’ll play with the robot, but I don’t know how to use it, so I’m just going to go with what feels right. If you can’t get clear about your feelings, then you will probably not be able to get that clear.