You get a big spike like this, and it's like the first hit.

Then you keep checking back again and again to see if you can get another hit like that. But most of the time you can't. Because, statistics, that's why. It's by definition an outlier.

But even though you know it's not good for you, you start to obsess about how to repeat the outlying statistic. The statistic becomes more important than the writing itself – nevermind what you wrote today is actually better than the other one that got the views. And then, you're lost.

I'm pretty sure it's not just pageview statistics. Moments of statistical "success" in any field can be a little dangerous.

Churches: If only we could have the numbers (and budgets) we had back in the 1950s – nevermind a lot has changed since then.

Companies: If only we could have the numbers (and profits) we had back in 2007 – nevermind the market is significantly different now.

Grad Students: If only I could get the GPA I had in high school – nevermind the courses in grad school are totally different.

Parents: If only I/we could raise this kid to be like the last one – nevermind your kids are individuals with their own character.

Most of the time, the statistics are not the measures of success we think they are.