Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Lying to ourselves

I thought this article from Nathan Collier was good so:

5 ways we lie to ourselves

Confirmation Bias: We look for evidence that confirms what we already believe and we discount that which makes us uncomfortable. Related to the Belief Bias; evaluating information not on the worthiness or credibility of the source but more upon how we feel (i.e. our beliefs) about the issue at hand.

Framing Bias: aka Blinders Effect: We define a problem or situation too narrowly, we laser in on certain aspects (often the most emotional or dramatic) to the determent of other, more salient aspects.

Self-Serving Bias: The tendency to see success as due to our ability/efforts, failures due to bad luck or outside influences; based upon a need to maintain our self-image/self-esteem and protect our egos. Success has a thousand fathers, failure is an orphan; in any success in which multiple groups/individuals participate, each tends to ascribe the lion’s share to themselves.

20/20 Hindsight Bias: aka “I knew it all along”. We forget the uncertainty that existed before the event, now see what happened as predictable, much more inevitable. This bias undermines our future decision making ability and greatly hinders our ability to learn from events.

Attribution Effect: We tend to judge ourselves by our good intentions (internal), others by their behavior (external) or even by the outcome of their actions/behavior whether intended or not. Worse, our fears often lead us to attribute negative motives to what may be benign motivation or unintentional/unforeseen. Or as the cynical saying goes: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.”
Closing Quotes:

“The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs.” – John Dewey, 1859-1952, philosopher, psychologist, educational reformer
“Your job as a scientist is to figure out how you’re fooling yourself.” – Saul Perlmutter, b. 1959, astrophysicist, professor of physics, Berkeley
“Men judge things according to the disposition of their minds, and had rather imagine things than understand them.” – Baruch Spinoza; 1632-1677; Ethics, appendix to book I 
“When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument, but when he finds it disagreeable, he will bring against it all the forces of logic and reason.” – Thucydides, 460-395 BC

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I was approached recently by a company - Crowdster that I had invested in.  They do web sites/social media/programs to help non-profits and charities raise more money more easily.  They were asking for advice on how to sell more.  My answer:

Random thoughts:

1 - Persistence works but you need to keep pinging people.   Send FB, Twitter and Linkedin updates.  Not advertorial but for the benefit of the reader - enough the people remember you.  And add in the odd email and call and it is long term persistence.

2 - Fail often, Fail fast, Fail cheap.  So trying different approaches and tracking success.  EG - option 1 - buy a list and email, then call.  Option 2 - advertise on FB to get a prospect then email then call.  Option 3  -attend a show etc - you get the idea.  With limited resources, i track it.  EG - I have 1 sales rep on "alternative" channels like kitchen gadget stores.  He might spend 10 hours calling in person and compare that to 10 hours spent calling on the phone compared to 10 hours emailing etc.

3 - Sites like GoFundme, Fundly, Booster, Indegogo, Giveforward, Pursuit etc seem to be doing well.  Any way to scrape leads from them?  Many of these are not charities - they are individuals raising funds to help a sibling who was in a accident etc.  Some % might want to do a more organized event.

4 - I believe in buying lists.  Any way to buy a list of non-profit or charities?  Or races (thinking most 5K's are in support of some cause) or walkathons or Danceathons.  

5 - Try to develop a second way to source business.  You have a process and success with what you do - you can polish it but what I am thinking is a completely separate approach.  Might there be a different way.


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