Working for a market research firm, inevitably you see things from a market research perspective.  I remember distinctly thinking that NBC must have done some extensive research before trying the Leno in prime time experiment.  Jay actually mentioned the research that was conducted earlier in the week during his monologue:

“They said, ‘how about prime time?’ I said, ‘that will never work.’ No, no, we want to put you on at 10:00. We have done focus groups. People will love you at 10:00. Look at these studies showing Jay’s chin at 10:00. People will go crazy.”

Now I don’t want to pile on NBC and obviously I have no idea how extensive the research was, but this seems like a potentially good example of placing too much weight on a research study instead of utilizing research as a component of an overall decision making process.  Let’s hope that NBC didn’t make a decision with hundred of millions of dollars worth of consequences based on a couple of rounds of focus groups.  But feel free to mention this example the next time someone complains about a product launch not going as well as the research predicted.  Below is a link to the article with more quotes from Jay Leno.