Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What you measure drives what you do

Sometimes we see a particular standard being used to measure quality. The result is that the provider begins to focus on that. For example, horse power tends to be the measure of performance for cars. Yet in fact, torque is a better predictor of acceleration (more important for most us in an age when top speed is academic). While many people can tell you the bhp of their car, few can tell you the torque, or even the units of measurement.

Similarly, most people judge the speed of their broadband connection by downstream speed. Few realize that in some situations, such as sending large files, or IP telephony, upstream speed is more important. As a result, few know the upstream speed of their connection, and few providers advertise it.

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