• Ujwal Arkalgud

If your approach to research hasn’t changed in the last year, you’re doing it wrong.

Updated: Dec 28, 2018

This TEDx talk is a powerful reminder of why the majority is always wrong. The speaker here begins with an example — Albert Einstein once famously gave his students the same exam questions from a year ago. When asked why he replied: “because the answers have changed”.


That’s the world we live in even more so today.


So the processes we employ when conducting consumer research, as well as the results we expect must also change and evolve. It’s the only way to meet the rapid demands of modern business where trends seem to appear in an instant and dissipate just as quickly. Where competitors are dime a dozen, and true differentiation is extremely hard to come by.



During this talk, Paul Rulkens talks about how most of us live and work within a box — the confines of moral, legal, technological boundaries. That’s fine. The problem is that we don’t actually operate within the entire box. In reality, we actually operate in a much smaller box, contained within this larger box of moral/legal/technological rules. This smaller box is often described as “the way we usually do things” or “this is what my peers and superiors expect” etc.



This restricts our ability to access true innovation- new ideas offering sustainable growth.


In the research industry, we see this box within a box behavior everywhere. While we’ve witnessed the increasing acceptance of better research methods, like ethnography, we’ve also continued to see people struggle to get out of traditional business models and modes of conducting research.


The majority of research professionals in organizations still expect research to be a long arduous process, otherwise, they doubt the value of it.


The majority still want someone else to do the work for them, and trust the work more if it confirms their own biases and suspicions.


The majority still take months deciding on research projects and spend more than half a year in inaction because the process of commissioning, then receiving/socializing new research is institutionalized.


The majority still look at anything that doesn’t fit the above mold, with suspicion. Even when evidence points to the contrary.

This is what we deal with every day when we talk to new companies and introduce them to our technology — the idea of on-demand ethnographic research that’s powered by big data.

So how does one get out of the box?


The answer is simple and Paul Rulkens does an amazing job explaining it.


Break industry standard.


Break it once.


See what it does to your work, and for your organization.


You’ll suddenly find yourself saving time, money, and making better and quicker decisions for your business.

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