CHAPTER 1Patterns from the Past

“1.75%? Why would I care?” asked the senior executive as he flippantly tossed the PowerPoint page onto his conference table, put his foot on the table, leaned back in his chair, and, yes, stuck his hand into his pants like Al Bundy in the 1990s sitcom Married with Children.

Steve and his colleague exchanged a knowing glance. They had worked together for 15 years and by that point they basically shared a brain, which, at that point, was thinking: “Is this guy for real?”

They were in his lavish office, sitting at his conference table. Steve noticed the golf trophies, pictures with celebrities, and large and expensive desk. The office screamed, “I'm successful!”

It was 2009 and, given the difficult economic climate, Steve and his colleague were being especially aggressive in getting out to meet new executives. They had done some work for a large, diversified media and communications company, creating a segmentation of consumer behavior in its industry. Their client, pleased with the work, was looking to present it at an upcoming industry conference and wanted to get some reactions from executives at peer companies – hence the reason they were sitting in Al Bundy's office.

The work they were sharing included a detailed segmentation of the consumer landscape for communications services like Internet, phone, video/television packages, and security. They had surveyed thousands of customers about their behaviors and actions. The survey revealed the typical ...

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