Beware the false average

Some people like beer.

Some people like wine.

It’s tempting to look at a group and to focus group the heck out of them, then average it up to create something with the widest appeal.

For example, if you were to survey people as to whether they preferred beer or wine you might get half preferring one, and half preferring the other. The average then, is half wine and half beer.

But no one likes beer mixed with wine! The average appeals to no one.

There are very few things that average up that easily. What height you create dining chairs at is one thing, but trying to create something that pleases most people is a great way to please no one.