Market Research Bad Practice: If It Ain’t Illegal, It’s All Good

September 1, 2011
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I’ve been to a number of market research conferences where the following argument has been raised in defense of  methodologies that some people deem questionable:

I’ve been to a number of market research conferences where the following argument has been raised in defense of  methodologies that some people deem questionable:

It’s not illegal so we can do it.

It’s made me stop and re-evaluate how I run my life. That whole “Do unto others” thing is far too complicated and theoretical and the books that promote it are thousands of years old and not relevant to me. Besides, it’s greatly to my advantage to base my choices purely on legalities. So here is how I’m going to better my life.

  1. I’m going to save at least $100 every year by keeping any wallets or phones that I find. (Shoot, I could have had a new Android phone last week!)
  2. I’m going to get at least 3 free pairs of gloves and 1 free umbrella every year by not telling departing transit passengers that they’ve dropped something.
  3. Conferences presentations will be a lot funnier because I won’t tell people who are about to present that their zipper is undone.
  4. I will save at least 90 minutes every year by no longer holding doors open for people, trying to re-unite lost children with their moms, and offering to taking photos for visiting travelers.
  5. I will make more money by disregarding personal preferences for privacy, anonymity, and respect.
  6. I will gain more self-respect by doing what’s right for me personally instead of wondering how my perfectly legal actions affect the people around me.

It’s all perfectly legal my dear friends so let’s start with item #1.