In a recent article, The Deal takes the Wall St. Journal to task for ranking top business gurus. Entitled, “The wisdom racket (updated): The Wall St. Journal Discovers the Ingredients for Gurudum: Thin, Trendy, and Obvious and M&A Reporters Offer Dueling Punditry,” The Deal said it noted “three signs of the apocalypse in a single story” because the Journal:
- Presented the entire article on the front page of the Journal’s Marketplace section.
- The methodology behind the ranking, which basically consisted of tallying up the “Google hits, media mentions and academic citations” scored by a list of influential business thinkers.
- And then the list includes NY Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman and New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell, in spots No. 2 and No. 4, respectively. Meanwhile Michael Porter and Tom Peters, who topped a similar list in 2003, fell to Nos. 14 and 18, respectively.
Ok, I don’t agree these are signs of the apocalypse, but I do have to agree that ranking based on Google hits isn’t necessarily the most scientific method to ranking gurus by impact.
The article is available here.