How to Analyze an Article: Don’t get Fooled by Terrible Advice

By Adam Henshall

how to analyze and article dont get fooled by terrible advice header

There’s a lot of advice on the internet. Some of it is good, some of it is terrible, and some sits in the gray area between.

Within the fields of tech and startups, a lot of what people do day to day is influenced by what they’ve learned online; I doubt many people reading this article learned in school how to effectively market a product over Instagram!

Sorting the good from the bad is a challenge we all face, and one we have to become better at as individuals and as a society.

Improving our ability to analyze information doesn’t just mean identifying fake news, though we will look briefly at it. It also means being able to take a second look at informative journalism and the reporting of research; the kind of information which you might use to inform big business decisions. We’ll look at:

  • The importance of recognizing the gray area in complex issues and reviewing the source text.
  • How media reporting of studies can often obscure the real points
  • Why certain models of investigation can have inherent flaws, and why you should be wary of that.

At the end I’ll follow up with the 10 step process you can use to improve your analysis. This process is pulled from the recommendations of Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, and Michael Shermer, and repurposed for your professional needs.

But first, let me tell you a little story…

How poor research almost killed my first startup

how to analyze an article idyoma

A good number of years ago, a friend and I were working hard on bringing out our first app. It wasn’t my first project, but it was certainly my first real startup.

We had a cursory knowledge of business and strategy but we knew less than we thought we knew. We were naive.

The app was Idyoma, and we were working on the MVP while gathering research and testing as many of our hypotheses as possible. So far, so good.

The app served to help language learners find others nearby to meet with to practice speaking and listening in another language. A kind of Tinder for languages.

To gather research, I would hold group language exchange meetings once, then twice, a week where people of all nationalities would come to meet each other and practice chatting in different languages. At these meetings we would aim to pull people aside through the evening to do quick face to face surveys with them and attempt to understand:

  • The demographics they fit into
  • Their experience of the problem they face
  • What kind of added value services they would like to see
  • Where the optimal price point would be for different added, complementary services

Many of the things we learned from this research were great and built on solid foundations. But not all of it.

how to analyze an article language exchange

From the research we found that ~30% of all respondents (+150) were willing to pay for a premium service. The primary desire for the premium came from security – wanting to know the person they Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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