Businessweek's poll on "best of 2005" - some quest

Take a look at this Poll/Survey BusinessWeek is conducting on their innovation section, Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

Under their categories, I found some inconsistencies to question, for example, here is the list of “Best of the Best: Innovators 2005”

Best of the Best: Innovators

Please pick your favorite:

Katsuaki Watanabe (Toyota)
Niklas Zennstrom (Skype)
Steve Jobs (Apple, Pixar)
Terry Semel (Yahoo!)
Larry Page (Google)
Sergey Brin (Google)
Burt Rutan (Scaled Composites)
David Whitwam (Whirlpool)

My issues with this poll are:

  1. No rationale for these nominees are given, for example, both the founders of Google are choices, if Google is such an innovative company, both should get one vote not one each, how do we differentiate.

  2. David Whitwam is shown as an innovator, again, without a rationale, one can’t make out why he was selected, when ironically in the same issue, they’re covering just how innovative Haier’s washing machines are - see
    By this article, Haier comes across as far more innovative.

Here’s another category in this survey, again with no rationale for the nominees,

Best of the Best: Innovation Consultants

Please pick your favorite:

Tom Peters (Tom Peters Co.)
Tim Brown (IDEO)
Larry Keeley (Doblin)
Keith Yamashita (Stone Yamashita)
Clayton Christensen (Innosight)

Where are the examples of their innovation success stories for 2005?

Just the idea of picking a “favorite” is sort of inappropriate, isn’t it?

That too! Whereas the gridskipper poll at least took nominations,went through them, then shortlisted before the vote

These sorts of list are just silly. But from an editorial perspective they have many benefits:

  1. They are waaay cheaper to produce that real articles that require some degree of fact-checking and editorial overview
  2. They are even cheaper if you don’t trouble yourself with a selction rationale
  3. They confer on the editorial staff a false credibility (they play king makers so to speak)
  4. They confer on the listed names a false credibility (and the stronger the names’ credibility, the strong the magazine’s king-making driven credibility)

See its a win-win game–expect for the readers. For us its just a lot easily digested, vacuous hype mongering.

Kind of odd that each Google guy can get a vote for ONE company worth of innovation…and Steve Jobs can ONLY get one vote for TWO companies worth
of innovation. Steve gets two chances for a vote, and the Googles guys only get half a chance.

statistically it quadruples Google’s chances over Pixar/Apple. since it’s two chances to 1/2