Survey Says …

More questions and answers from this month’s Fast Company-Roper Starch survey.

Not every question posed to respondents in our special millennium edition of the Fast Company-Roper Starch Worldwide Survey found its way into our print article. Here are several more questions, along with the results.


1. In today’s economy, there seems to be a technological solution for almost everything. But technology sometimes creates a new problem for every problem that it solves. So which is better — the old-fashioned 20th-century annoyance or the 21st-century digital annoyance? For each of the following pairs, indicate which you believe to be the lesser of two evils.

A postal mailbox full of junk mail or an electronic mailbox full of junk mail?

A postal mailbox full of junk mail — 39.9%
An electronic mailbox full of junk mail — 60.1%


A workday full of back-to-back meetings or a cell-phone that never stops ringing?

A workday full of back-to-back meetings — 62.9%
A cell-phone that never stops ringing — 37.1%

Telemarketing calls at home or telemarketing voice-mail messages at work?


Telemarketing calls at home — 17.9%
Telemarketing voice-mail messages at work — 82.1%

2. In each of the following pairs, we have listed the approximate market value of two companies. Given that information, which company’s stock would you buy today?

Merrill Lynch or E*Trade?


Merrill Lynch: $29 billion — 44.0%
E*Trade: $6 billion — 56.0%

Toys ‘R’ Us or eToys?

Toys ‘R’ Us: $3.6 billion — 37.9%
eToys: $5 billion — 62.1%


Barnes and Noble or

Barnes and Noble: $1.7 billion — 37.6% $21 billion — 63.3%

General Motors or AutoNation?


General Motors: $50 billion — 77.8%
AutoNation: $5 billion — 22.2%

American Airlines or

American Airlines: $9 billion — 43.2% $9 billion — 56.8%


Wal-Mart or eBay?

Wal-Mart: $211 billion — 70.6%
eBay:$17 billion — 29.4%

3. What do you think will be the role of the Internet in our lives at the turn of the next century — the 22nd century?


The Net will be our lifeline — 41.5%
The Net will be just one of many technologies — 18.1%
Something else will have taken the Net’s place — 40.4%

4. Consider this statement: “The entertainment industry has overwhelmed entertainment itself. The movies we see, the music we hear, and the books we read today have less to do with artistic creativity and talent than they do with commercial appeal.” How much do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Completely agree — 38.3%
Somewhat agree — 49.8%
Somewhat disagree — 10.3%
Disagree completely — 1.6%


5. How do you plan to prepare for Y2K-related computer problems that may occur on January 1, 2000? (Select all that apply.)

Double-book air and hotel reservations — 0.7%
Postpone all travel around that date — 24.6%
Stock up on water — 31.6%
Stock up on scotch — 6.8%
Buy extra candles or blankets — 25.6%
Keep a lot of extra cash on hand — 31.9%
Make peace with your god — 9.6%
Buy a gun to protect your family and valuables — 4.1%
Do nothing — 44.5%

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