Our Most Important Metric
I read a fascinating piece on Digital Trends yesterday that has me thinking about what we design things for. The article talks about Nurburgring, a world renowned racetrack, and how automobile manufacturers use the track to test high performance cars, leveraging that data for marketing purposes. While this sounds like a phenomenal idea at first, they may be a few unintended consequences with this strategy. Peter Braun, author of the article, sums it up beautifully in these three quotes:
The Nurburgring’s domination of car development not only distorts our perception of performance, it also makes cars less fun to own.
The focus on ‘Ring times both makes cars ostensibly worse and misleads the consumer.
The Nurburgring produces expensive, uncomfortable hellcats that may not even be that fast under other conditions.
Basically, Braun calls out manufacturers for gaming the stats. By tuning their cars for one specific test track, they create an inferior product that they can sell for more money.
Now, I don’t know enough about cars to know whether this is true or not, but I do know that the way that you define a win has a significant impact on the way that you go about fulfilling the task at hand. In other words, the metrics you use to determine success will determine what you are shooting for. If your most important metric for the car you are building is how it performs on the test track, you will build a car that performs well on the test track.
The same principle applies to the church, but with a twist: oftentimes our most important metric is unstated.
What is YOUR church’s most important metric?