May 15,  2006
Volume II   Issue 9

"What Do You Know?"
by Jack Miller

What do you know?

I remember when I was about eight years old, an uncle used to ask me that
question whenever I saw him. I never knew how to answer. I could tell him
my name, or what the weather was doing, or even last night’s baseball
scores. Not knowing what he was looking for, though, and being eight years
old, I’d usually answer, “I dunno.”

This comes back to me because a colleague recently asked me to review a
report for a client. As I read it, I wondered, “Gee, what does the client know?”

Then, I thought back to a new product development workshop we did
recently. Going into it, I wondered, “Gee, how much of this does the client
know?” I was concerned that the client might know more than we did.

As I think back to that workshop, I realize that the client knew a lot about its
markets, and probably more than we did. But… and this is a big but… they
didn’t know what they didn’t know. And we helped them figure it out,
because we understood the issues well enough to ask the questions that
helped them figure out what they didn’t know.

And this brings me full circle to my review of my colleague’s report.

Five questions:

What do you  know?
What do you not know?
Do you know what you don’t know?
What do you think you need to know?
What do you really need to know?

There are gaps here – for everyone.

There’s a corollary, too, an old saying to be sure, but it’s even more
important: “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble, it’s what
you know that ain’t so.”

Do you like surprises? Market research almost always brings surprises. Isn’t
it better to get surprised by market research than by poor results in the

Two questions:

What do you know?
What do you know that ain’t so?

Pira can help you find the “need to know” gaps. And fill them. Pira can also
do market research, test the conventional wisdom, and find out what you
know that ain’t so.

What do you know?

Are you sure?

For help finding out what you don’t know and what you know that ain’t so,
call Jack Miller at 203 925 0326 or  email

About Jack Miller                                       Email Jack Miller

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