Seriously Brian, (I was only joking to add entertainment value and not to insult)
One of the things I accepted long ago about being in the advertising/marketing business, is that you can never make your clients rich enough. Regardless of how well a campaign or a project does, sooner or later, (and it is almost always sooner), you are under pressure to produce more.
Well, believe it or not, when I first started promoting websites in search engines, for many of the most competitive terms we are all familiar with today, Infoseek, Excite and Alta Vista, (the big 3 back then), didn't even produce 1000 pages of results. Can you imagine a time when online gambling would produce less than 1,000,000 results?
Anyway, what built my business back then was reverse engineering. Looking at the source codes of other websites in the top and duplicating their techniques. Who knew that I would have a knack for such a weird thing. I think my mother still wonders if I'm ever going to get a real job. Point is, I did a LOT of testing of a LOT of things. It was relatively easy to manage then.
As search engine technology advanced and databases grew to hold billions instead of millions of documents, I found myself in a position of needing more tech to reverse engineer than I had available to me. There is also the cost factor. It was costing more and more to try to keep up with the engines than it was really worth.
It became evident to me that "concepts", the whys rather than the hows, were more important and provided a better return than spending untold hours setting up excell spreadsheets and losing sleep to a battle that I was doomed to lose no matter what. I had to focus on developing a "feel" for what worked more than relying on accumulated data.
Luckily for me, I have plenty of resources to give me that "feel". Over almost 10 years, I've had a lot of clients, a lot of websites, a lot of success and a lot of failures. Through it all, I've always, without fail and without a single moments peace, had clients pressuring me for more answers, more results, better ROIs. It simply never stops. In advertising/marketing you are only as good as yesterdays results. I am never more than one update away from losing a client.
That puts me in a position to become a creature of habit. I have patterns, (habits may be a better term), that pretty much rule my life. I check stats, I speak with people on my staff, I discuss things with clients, I oversee strategy meetings and development of projects and the pressure is always there that I better be right more often than I am wrong or the next thing you hear from me may well be:
"would you like fries with that".
So, when someone asks me if I have tested any theory I may have, I guess the only honest answer is no, I haven't tested my theories. I have only lived them everyday.