The ‘I Wouldn’t Mind’ Heuristic

February 9, 2013 7:26 am

Most new business ideas will have a chicken-egg situation that needs to be solved for the idea to even exist in some shape. For example, no buyers will turn up unless there are sellers, but why will a seller list anything when there are no buyers? In many cases, if you can leverage an existing market factor to your benefit, you will have figured out a way to solve the chicken-egg problem. Here is an example of that.

So here is a new heuristic: look for areas where the consumer is paying nothing, or is already paying for something, and tell him he can actually make money out of that activity. In the example we just described, the consumer was paying nothing for receiving SMS messages. So when you tell him he can make money for doing that, ‘he wouldn’t mind’ doing that, with a positive bend – the possibility of making money. Add that reaction up across an entire population, and you have a very feasible idea in your hands.

Why is this a tricky heuristic? Remember those firms that said they will have an advertisement bar when you browse the internet and they will pay you money for doing that? What happened to those? Or, for example, why don’t we see cars wrapped in advertisements? The consumer did not mind. But they probably did not care as well. That matters.

In many ways, this is the opposite of the ‘Polarize People’ heuristic. That is precisely the reason you don’t see huge successes using this heuristic. But it might work to some scale. For example, we never knew how Mark’s bar would make money. Now it is making millions in profit.

The ‘I wouldn’t mind’ heuristic might work. As long as you don’t mind trying it.

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