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Book Review: Freakonomics

FreakonomicsFreakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Authors: Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Hardcover: 320 pages
Cost: $16.77
Published: 2006

So I didn’t read the revised and expanded version (which adds about another 100 pages) but I still found Freakonomics immensely interesting and entertaining. This is another one of those books that’s hard to categorize. It’s neither a personal development book nor a business book. It’s more thought provoking than anything, perhaps causing a change in thought process that can be used in both life and in business.

One of the things that really struck me about this book is that it’s really about analytics. Those of us in the marketing industry understand the value in detailed analytics but we often go about it the wrong way. We try to interpret the numbers. Freakonomics, if anything, shows us how to do analytics right. It’s not about interpreting the data, it’s about using the data to discover answers to our questions. And that is what these authors do effectively.

This isn’t a book of data, however. It’s a book of stories, of interpretations and odd conclusions. Not odd in the sense that they are wrong, but odd in the sense of, “huh, I never thought of it that way”. You will likely not agree with some of the conclusions drawn from some the data the authors present and you may even be suspect to the strength of the data’s results. But at the very least you’ll come away with a new perspective on how to look at things. And that, in itself, is priceless.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

One Response to Book Review: Freakonomics

  1. Pingback: (EMP) E-Marketing Performance » Blog Archive » 2007 Reading List Wrap-Up