I’m a numbers guy and spend my time begging e-tailers to focus on clickstream data. I do this because most e-tailers focus too little on measurement. So I compensate by emphasizing the opposite.
What I should be advocating is balance. Not the elimination of creativity, epiphany and gut instinct.
Google runs 50 to 200 tests at any given moment (read more). If success was defined solely by brute number-crunching ability Google wouldn’t have failed with Wave, Google Answers, Orkut and Dodgeball.
In the end, optimization only maximizes ROI of an existing strategy. Creativity is what creates a shortcut to fundamentally new ideas.