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TO SOLVE PROBLEMS OR TO IDENTIFY PROBLEMS TO SOLVE… that is the question

The task was simple: Drive traffic to your website.

My thought: I can do that.  I’ll just repeat the same formula I used in the first week of January.  I don’t remember what I did, but I remember seeing a spike in my “Views” metric.  

Once I sat down to deconstruct what had happened in the first week of January, I was surprise to see that I had only 11 “Visitors” and 114 “Views”.  That was a lot of engagement for a few number of visitors. Usually my number of “Visitors” is very close to my number of “Views”. Something seemed off.  Not only that, I had not done anything special to get those numbers. I had not posted anything in this website the first week of January, as a matter of fact I was in Puerto Rico chilling and enjoying my days off, listening to the hypnotic cadence of the waves caressing the shores of that tropical paradise.  (Pardon the drift, pun intended).

From the basic stats page in WordPress, I went to Google Analytics to discover that all those views originated from the same IP address.  A quick search into that IP address and I discovered that the “user” or bot with that IP had been reported for creating Spam Traffic in other websites before.  

I was back in square one with the task of driving traffic to my website.  Then I started thinking that I was able to catch that garbage data in my site because I have a small blog. How many times do spammers get away with it? If they do the same to other websites with a significant number of visitors, they may go unnoticed.

Then I remember and interview I had heard with author Ellen Shell about her book “The Job” which covers the subject of “work and its future in a time of radical change”.  When asked by interviewer Kara Swisher (Recode) about the attributes one must have to be able to adjust to these times of change, Professor Shell mentioned something that got stuck in my brain ever since, and I paraphrase: It’s not about solving the problem is about knowing what problems to solve.

In other words, those that will stand out above the rest will not be the ones that know how to solve a problem, machines will take care of that.  The ones that will stand out above the rest will be those that identify what are the problems that need to be solved.

In a world of analytics, metrics and big data, it’s time to train the eye to identify discrepancies in our numbers, find those correlations, patterns, causalities, and do not jump into conclusions with faulty data.  As the cliche says: If it’s too good to be true, it’s because it is.

STATUS:  Are you a problem solver? Or Are you able to identify what problems to solve? If you don’t understand the difference, I have identified you may have a problem to solve.

person looking searching clean
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