I have The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes coming to my RSS reader via the fantastic Daily Lit service, which I mentioned recently.
I’ve read all the Holmes books many times, and never tire of them. However, this quote, from Holmes to Watson, really jumped out at me upon this reading:
“I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
I often find that artistsâ€”businesses in generalâ€”don’t spend enough time collecting and/or analyzing data. And, as Holmes says, when you skip this step, you invariably assume your strategies are correctâ€”even though they’re not based on anything concrete. Big mistake.