Market Research Tragedy

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Millions of people, searchable by structured demographic data, and then reachable, for free (or nearly). It’s a market researchers wet dream.

Ever heard of The Tragedy of the Commons?

The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource, even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest for this to happen.

In this case, the shared limited resource is the collective attention and goodwill of LinkedIn users. And since the market researchers creating the problem probably aren’t even aware of the problem they’re creating, and aren’t acting with “enlightened self-interest”, you can pretty much expect that at some point, an authority (LinkedIn), is going to step in and do something about it, i.e., no more free market research on LinkedIn.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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