The story of Phineas Gage is one you may have heard in a college neuroscience class. While setting a powder charge in a rock outcropping, Phineas’ tamping iron unexpectedly sparked. The explosion propelled the 3 ½-foot iron bar into Phineas’ head—in through his left cheek, through his frontal lobe behind his left eye, then out through the top of his skull. Somehow, he survived.
So why would I write about this topic on a blog about optimization? Well, today’s marketing and product professionals would be wise to incorporate the “Phineas Gage” persona into their optimization strategies because his post-accident behavior is shockingly similar to the that of the average web visitor.