Accurate vs. Useful

The two are not mutually exclusive, but often we get one or the other – accurate or useful. There is also the all-too-frequent moment of your life wasted on something neither accurate nor useful.


This is tough for me…I like accurate. A couple of things that are accurate, but not necessarily (widely) useful – The trap here is misapplication:
Spelling bee champions
Space pens – even though “they write upside down”
Most filed records

Things that are not accurate but are useful:
Most models of human (fill in the blank) – e.g., Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, EQ – emotional intelligence
Biographies and other historical accounts
Resumes and other marketing
Analogies and fables

Things neither accurate nor useful:
The feedback most people receive in reviews of their performance
Half of the consumer products my kids come home from school begging for

Consider your desired outcome. What’s important, accuracy, usefulness, both or neither?