There's no shortage of corporations talking up the possibilities of big data, where statistics can be mined to gain promising insights. Martin Lindstrom takes the opposite approach, finding behavioural clues by studying how *individual* humans behave with products. He appears to lead a very interesting life, having consulted with a number of companies that have sought a better relationship with their customers. In Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends he talks about his experiences.
The investigations he has conducted are fascinating. With permission, he literally goes through customers' closets, bathrooms etc and observes how they interact with their stuff! He does this with a bunch of customers, and ends up with a ton of learnings that he can take back to his clients to improve their offerings.
I found a lot of the inferences he made pretty far-fetched, however. That doesn't mean he's wrong; it's quite possible he is gaining incredible insights while I'm a skeptical idiot who has not given enough thought to what kind of oils teenage girls prefer to apply to their faces so that they can simultaneously text easily.
The stories are interesting, but the conclusions are a little too certain for my liking. You'll enjoy Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends if that's your thing.