August 25, 2010 — Doctors used to recommend leeches to cure a whole variety of illnesses. That seems laughable today. But I think our recommendations today will be laughable to people in the future.
Recommendations work terrible for everyone but decently on average.
We are a long, long way from making good individual recommendations. You won't get good individual recommendations until your individual genome is taken into account. And even then it will take a while. We may never get to the point where we can make good individual recommendations.
So many cures and medicines work for a certain percentage of people, but for some people they can have detrimental or even fatal effects. People rave about certain foods, exercises, and so forth, without considering how differences in genetics can have a huge role.
People are quite similar, but they are also quite different and react to different things in different ways. I think we are a long way away from seeing breakthroughs in recommendations.
Recommendations are great business, but I think we're 2 or 3 orders of magnitude away from where they could be, and it could take decades(or never) to reach those levels.