Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
In this comic Black Hat is trying to get a job running a marketing program. The person conducting the job interview says that although the interviewer has heard that Black Hat is the best in the business, his portfolio does not show that Black Hat has run any major marketing campaigns. Black Hat asks the interviewer where he heard that rumor and the interviewer begins to respond then realizes that Black Hat has used his marketing campaign tactics to get the interviewer to hear that Black Hat is the best in the business. The image text refers to the thought that maybe the best marketing book is the most popular because if the company that made the book had the best marketing tactics, perhaps that book will teach you the best marketing tactics.
- [Two people, Cueball sitting behind a executive desk and looking at some paper, and Black Hat.]
- Cueball: I've heard you're one of the best in marketing business, but I've got your portfolio here and looks like you've never run a major campaign. Why should I hire you to head our new initiative?
- Black Hat: If you don't mind asking, what gave you the idea I was one of the best in the business?
- Cueball: Hm? I don't remember. Just word of mouth or someth-- ...oh, you're good.
- Black Hat: Thank you. When can I start?
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I believe I disagree with the explanation of the title text on this one. To me it suggests that this would be a rare case in which buying the most popular book would be the best because the people who wrote it obviously know a great deal about marketing. 220.127.116.11 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I don't understand what you mean by "rare case"18.104.22.168 05:14, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
- Agreed. The title text appears to connote that although a case of Black Hat or his ilk is rare, the tendency of good marketers' books to sell better ought most often to be the rule rather than the exception. --Jolbucley (talk) 04:16, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
or is it? i think he honestly wonders, not leaning towards one answer or the other. cause being the best selling book on marketing guarantees the writer is (or has) a very good marketer (sry, english is not my first language. is marketer a word?). anyway, it doesn't guarantee that there will be any useful information in it, just that the marketing department did their part in promoting the said book. am i going too far here? 22.214.171.124 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The most popular book can imply the best marketing, but doesn't ever imply the best content or the best source of information about a topic. However, if the topic is marketing, the at least the reader can look at the marketing strategy for selling the marketing book, which would make the book's author the best source. 126.96.36.199 22:01, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
When it comes to marketing, the most popular book isn't necessarily the one with the best content, but its popularity says more about the author's ability. Fast forward 10 years and replace "marketing" with "SEO." If money weren't an object, doesn't it follow to hire an expert listed within the first few results of googling "SEO consultants?" Another field that presents a similar situation is interviewing applicants for a Human Resources position: they're likely to know all the right answers to the usual questions, especially if it's for a high-level position that requires considerable experience and expertise in the area.