No One Decides Quickly and Everyone’s a Good Friend

No one would want this desk? Really?

…or a more boring title would be “Survey Results.”

Because that’s what today is all about.

I want to thank everyone who took my crazy little survey last week. 47 people filled it out, and the 23rd person (you know who you are) was randomly selected by to receive my copy of Rework by Jason Fried.

I learned one thing right away by doing this survey: I should use Qualtrics for my next survey (the website I used for my Perfect Woman survey). It takes more time to make, but it lets people see how their results compare to everyone else at the end of the survey. There’s something each of us that (a) wants to feel like we got the “right” answer, validating our humanity, and (b) wants to be unique on some questions, validating our individuality. I took that away from all of you, and it won’t happen again.

The other thing I learned is that a free book isn’t enough to get people to forward a survey to their friends. I’m really, really interested in this. What would it have taken (and it may not have anything to do with the prize) for you to forward this survey to friends and coworkers?

The good news is that you’re all normal. Well, all but two of you (apparently almost everyone would use PowerPoint for a presentation). For many of the questions, there are no outliers, no strong results. Here are the most interesting answers that stood out:

  • Not a single one of you said you’d wait until later in the year to see a friend who showed up in town without any warning whatsoever.
  • 43% of you would feel more appreciated at work by receiving a heartfelt compliment than a cash bonus or an extra vacation day. Shows you how far a few words can go.
  • 53% of you desire a strong connection between your effort and the resulting value added over autonomy or complexity. So if you’re a manager, keep an eye on this.
  • Only one of you would like to have your office in a big, open space. I think that shows that we need privacy to be productive, and yet I think a lot of people may look at the photo on the left and think, “That would be a cool office to work in.”
  • This was surprising to me–50% of you would rather reorganize your office on a slow day than plan a holiday party or be a part of a teambuilding activity. Either there are some messy offices out there, or people really don’t like ropes courses.
  • 68% of you would trust online reviews over the advice of friends and family when it comes to buying a car. Entire social networks are built on the idea that we trust people we know more than strangers, so this was interesting.

Here are some other interesting results:

  • 18% of you would never invest in a startup
  • 70% of you describe your desk as “organized chaos”
  • 67% of you would ask a potential employer how he/she motivates employees
  • Only 28% of really enjoy public speaking, but only 22% of you are petrified of it
  • 32% of you–more than I expected–are really indecisive when it comes deciding what to order at a restaurant
  • 68% of you would rather a summer intern do a menial task than you or a freelancer.
  • 40% of you have had some sort of work relationship

I know, it’s a lot of data. Does it mean anything? With a sample size that small, probably not. I’m much more interested in cross-calibrating the successful and unsuccessful “roles” that people indicated at the beginning of the survey with all of their answers. At this point I’m not quite sure how to do that without doing it manually, but I’ll figure it out.

5 thoughts on “No One Decides Quickly and Everyone’s a Good Friend”

  1. Hey Jaam–just a quick comment on your bolded question. I went back to the original entry because I didn’t remember anything about forwarding the survey on to friends. The way the blog entry is worded, it seemed that I could be entered into the drawing if I (1) completed the survey or (2) forwarded it to a friend. My understanding at the time was that I was entered after I completed the survey, so what additional incentive was there to forward the survey to a friend? Would I have been entered a second time? If so, I didn’t read it like that at the time. I suspect that most people prefered to just answer the survey themselves (which is more interesting than forwarding it to someone else).

    I’m interested to see what your analysis of successful and unsuccessful roles determines!

    • Interesting–I guess I should have been more clear about the referrals. Yes, you would have been entered a second time–once for each referral.

      • Shoot! I honestly read right past that at the time because it didn’t jump out to me. Even though the contest no longer valid, I’ll forward this on just in case you’d like to collect more data.

    • Yep–that was the one referred person who took the survey. Doubled your odds, but it didn’t help in the end, sadly.


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