Top 10 Moments from my Research Career

David Letterman is on his way out, but in his honor, here’s a top 10 list.

1. Getting locked in a strange Indian family’s bathroom after an in-home interview. The respondent had to let me out!

2. Being told by a respondent in Shawangunk Maximum Security prison that I had some “funky, Frankenstein-looking shoes.”

3. Passing out during focus groups the day after running the New York City marathon (luckily, I wasn’t moderating).

4. Being asked by a new boss if I felt comfortable interviewing physicians. After 2 years of interviewing inmates and heroin addicts, I felt comfortable interviewing anyone!

5. In the Dominican Republic, conspiring with fellow bus passengers to get the driver to turn down his music so I could do a conference call with a new client.

6. Arriving to present research findings at a certain Big 3 auto company—in a rented Honda.

7. Telling a client his idea was “technically possible, but ethically questionable.”

8. Collaborating with feminist authors Nancy Etcoff and Susie Orbach on a white paper about women and beauty.

9. The relief on my client’s face when I told him that what he perceived as a huge crisis actually only registered for 4% of Americans.

10.My own relief when, last week, my client thanked me for finding out the truth: that only 12% of respondents would consider partnering with her organization.

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Founder of Southpaw Insights