Live by the Algorithm, Die by Same

Think your fancy, all-seeing algorithm can’t be gamed?

So do the fools at Uber. Unfortunately, it looks like Uber drivers can just switch off the app at once and trigger surge pricing. No complicated competing algorithm, no data scientists needed.

Complex systems can be–when created by people–relatively fragile. And the bigger the complex system, the more likely it can be disrupted by small and perhaps unexpected things. Case in point, Uber and taxi drivers with cell phones.

Do you really think your fancy multi-touch attribution models can beat armies of profit-motivated criminals with (among other things) IOT botnets?

Takeaway: Start with proper marketing, then add technology to support your strategy. Check everything. De-complicate*. And win.

*Changed from “de-complexify” on 9/20/17. I’ve noticed several cases when I referenced complexity instead of complication and have tried to make those corrections as I find them.

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