Cherry-picking and lemon-squeezing takes time

Generally, tech industry analysts tend to ‘cherry-pick’ their recommended options more than they warn people off picking a lemon. As a result, I’ve been thinking about Hardie and MacKenzie’s paper on lemon-squeezing (https://lnkd.in/dzhapJm).

Photo: yuankuei on Flickr
Photo: yuankuei on Flickr

In a nutshell, the effort taken to evaluate things gets more complex over time. Even when it’s numerical data being calculated, it can be hard to tell the difference between ‘cherries’ and ‘lemons’. Cherry-picking and lemon-squeezing takes time, and there’s a certain point where the effort taken no longer becomes economical.

I think this is missing from many of the conversations I have about the rise of algorithmic devices, like Gartner Peer Insights, where the internet’s affordance for the multiplication of reviews and reviewers makes things like G2 and Peer Insights possible. But the evolution of the MQ is also about productivity. Each shift in the method pushes the effort of lemon-squeezing off the analyst and on to the vendors and users.

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