Fast Company: It's Your Choice : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

"It's Your Choice", The Roper Starch Worldwide Survey, Fast Company, January - February 2000, pp. 200-212.

The Roper Starch Worldwide Survey polled members of their readership with a variety of questions to determine what really matters and what barely matters. They approached this task in part because of the new Millennium. Fast Company admits to being frivolous and foolish in it's attempts at answering questions related to the sense of purpose readers find in their lives. Below is a synopsis of Fast Company's findings to thirteen of their questions and/or scenarios:

1. Work, Money and the Web: You find yourself with five job offers. You are equally qualified for each job, but the pay, the hours and the organizational culture are very different in each case. The jobs include Yahoo!, Goldman Sachs, Proctor and Gamble, Ben and Jerry's and the Peace Corps. At 33.1% Ben and Jerry's was the lead job of choice. The job most would turn down first was the Peace Corps at 40.5%. What is the reason for these choices? Sanity and balance coupled with the ability to maintain a normal pace and live in a community and maintain their sense of values rather than living in the fast paced life of Wall Street or Silicon Valley. It is not all about money. People desire it but strive for some sense of normalcy and calmness in their lives. Maintaining a sense of peace.

2. From each of the following pairs, pick the organization that you think will more successful ten years from now: An example selection was Merrill Lynch with 43.6% of polled choosing this company and E*Trade coming in first place with 56.4% of those polled choosing greater success for the company. Toys'R ' Us 48.9% and eToys with 51.1% Peace Corps with 43.5% and (not even an existing site) came in with 56.5% of the votes. Barnes and Noble gained the confidence of 45.8% of those polled while drew54.2% of the votes. General Motors drew 81.5% and AutoNation only 18.5%. Time scored high with the readers at 90.2% and Slate (online magazine) 9.8% of the votes. American Airlines had 44.7% of the votes and had 55.3%. Finally, Wal-Mart captured 72.5% of the votes while eBay pulled in 27.5%. Why? The online experience can be a blessing when looking for a good deal and servicing remote areas, however traditional buying experiences seem to outweigh Internet trading.

3. Your rich aunt dies and leaves you a windfall. The terms of her will are unusual. You get $100,000 if you want to spend 6the inheritance right now. You get $200,000 if you invest it for at lest 10 years. Or you get $300,000 now if you give it all away to charity. Which option would you pick? 77% Chose to take the $200,000 to invest now, 15.6% chose to spend the $100,000 now and only 7.4% would give the entire $300,000 to charity.

4. If you opted to take the $200,000 from your aunt, in which one of the following would you choose to invest the money for the next 10 years? 50.2% chose General Electric, 29.7% chose Government securities, while 20.1% chose eBay stock as an option for investment. The investment in a stable company with products that will be around for a long time was the investment path of choice.

5. Much has been said and written in the media about the sudden riches that entrepreneurs and investors have made from the Internet. Have you, or anyone you know made a lot of money by investing in, working for, or starting a Net company? 65.2% of the people polled responded with, "I don't know anyone who has made a lot of money from the Net." 20.7% of the people reported knowing somebody that has made a lot of money on the Net. While only 9.2% either made money or know people who have made a lot of money on the net. Only 2.3% of the respondents have made a lot of money from the Net or have lost money on the net. One third of the respondents know or are making money off the Net!

6. Which of the following CEOs would you most like to work for in the new millennium? The number one CEO to work for came in with a rating of 32.9% polled reporting they would like to work for Bill Gates of Microsoft. The runner up was Michael Eisner of Disney with 25.1% of the votes. 9.2% chose an Internet CEO for Amazon .com, Jeff Bezos. Other desirable CEOs to work were less than 7% and included the company's of General Electric, eBay, AT&T, IBM, and General Motors. Only one of the CEO's noted was a woman. Margaret Whitman of eBAy. The rest of the CEOs deemed most desirable to work for were men.

7. From each of the following pairs, pick the person whom you would most rather sit next to on a cross-country flight: The responses were between 40-60% closely matched. Gender appears to be a key component of who voted for who according to the brief write up.< p> 8. And which of the following CEOs would you least like to sit next to on a cross-country flight? The responses started at 15.8% choosing not to sit by Michael Eisner of Disney down to 5.6% choosing to avoid Jeff Bezos, Who really cares comes to my mind. Most people prefer either to have a quiet, uneventful flight or the chance to meet somebody new. It wouldn't necessarily need to be a CEO of a major company.

9. Below we list four pairs of workers, along with their estimated pay. Would you say that each person - relative to the other person in the pair is paid too much, about the right amount, or too little? Interesting question! The CEOs and sports figures were voted at making too much money for the job that they do. Where as a general motors union assembler makes about the right amount. An entry level school teacher was voted to make to little. 50.5% voted that our US Senators paid at $136,700 makes about the right amount along with an experienced Java programmer making $150,000 is paid the right amount with a vote of 68.4%.

10. If you read the sports pages, you know that baseball player Darryl Strawberry - already recovering from cocaine addiction - was arrested on charges of solicitation. Onetime teen tennis prodigy Jennifer Capriati did drugs and shoplifted. We know more about sports celebrities' personal lives than ever before, and often what we learn isn't pretty. Given that this is the case, how much do you agree with each of the following statements?

v "We've lost the ability to idolize sports stars as heroes, and that ability was comforting and healthy?" 54.1% somewhat agree with this statement and 25.4% Completely agree.

v "There is reality, Sports figures are human beings, just like everyone else, and understanding that fact is healthy." 44.5% Strongly agree while 44% somewhat agree.

v "Sports celebrities lead grotesquely distorted lives - lives that are very different from everyone else's - and it's healthy not to idolize them." 47.1% somewhat agree while 30.1% strongly agree. Fast Company indicates that we, as a public, continue to be both fascinated and repelled by celebrities in general. Nearly 90% agree that sports stars are human and at the same time their lifestyles are "grotesquely distorted" and "very different" from everyone else's. Fast Company reports that young people see these celebrities as human while older people find idolization of our current celebrities unhealthy where as in the past it would have been considered a healthy past time.

11. Which of the following statements comes closest to your view of the new Millennium? 46.3% of the voters reported worrying about the future for our children. They reported fears of high risk, danger and the lack of strong education and values not being taught. While 41.2% reported being "marveled" by the opportunities that lie ahead for today's children.

12. Let's think about the 22nd century for a moment. Which scenario best describes what the workplace of the 22nd century will be like? The responses were: Star Wars 32.7%, Brave New World 25.1%, Star Trek 23.9%, and Mad Max 18.4%. Given the choices, a true prediction of our future was probably not determined. A better way to predict our future might have been to allow the respondents to write in their predictions.

13. Which of the following statements comes closest to capturing your thoughts about the last years of the second millennium?

v "Yadda, yadda, yadda" 28.3%

v "Life is like a box of chocolates." 21.2%

v "Here we are now, entertain us." 17%

v "The future's so bright, I have to wear shades." 12.3%

v "Greed is good." 10.5%

v "I did not have sex with that woman." 8.5%

v "Shagadelic, baby." 2.2%

So what is to be gleaned from this brief quotes depicted to capture our thoughts on the second millennium? I dare think that the information gathered is should wind up on David Lettermen's top ten list. It should be entitled Survey Questions with Pointless Results. This was a simplified version of predictions with now true look in to our future, our values or beliefs. The questions were pointless. The ideas behind the survey were good, but little or no benefit can be extracted from such ridiculously worded questions. Fast Company was right to preface the survey results stating that they, "approached this survey with an appropriate mixture of amusement and amazement and despite our attmepts at frivolity and foolishness" Deciphering this information was both ridiculous and meaningless. Get it together Fast company!

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2000

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