dipping toe in water

Image courtesy of MrVJTod

In Part 1 of this series, we began discussing a new approach for wedding photographers to consider when making the decision between free and paid listings on SnapKnot. We deconstructed some conceptual differences between free and paid plans, and provided an example of a simple return on investment calculation.

Today in Part 2 we will be discussing a common but dangerous bias that should be strongly considered alongside the return on investment calculation.

Let’s begin with the following question:

Are you in it to win it, or are you just dipping your toes in the water?

In The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuck makes the following argument:

Just because you can’t dribble well of get the rock in the hoop, doesn’t mean that there’s a design flaw in your basketball…generally [it’s] because [people] aren’t fully committed to it; they still don’t get that intent matters…our intent affects the force of our actions…it’s like a competitive swimmer who hangs around the edge of the pool for a month, carefully dipping her toes and analyzing the water, and who then complains that her swim times aren’t improving.

Unfortunately, by only dipping your toes in the water (which in our case means only “testing” a Free listing), not only are you by nature not fully committed to utilizing all the important benefits of a service, but you may also be opening yourself up to a common bias that may unintentionally lead you to draw the wrong conclusions about your likelihood of future success, therefore preventing you from growing your wedding photography business before you’re even had a chance to give it a real chance.

Confirmation Bias

In his recent book, The House Advantage: Playing the Odds to Win Big in Business, Jeffrey Ma tells the following story:

The classic example of Confirmation Bias comes to us from World War II. American military personnel, when examining returning planes damaged during warfare, noticed that “some parts of planes were hit by enemy fire more than other parts.” Analyzing the pattern of bullet holes in the returning planes, they decided to have these areas reinforced to withstand enemy fire better.

Seems logical enough, but there is a clear problem with their analysis. Because they only get to see the planes that survive, they are only seeing a portion of the planes that were hit. Even more problematic, planes that they are not seeing are the more important sample to look at. Since the damage inflicted on those planes prevented them from returning back to the base, it is imperative to look at them to determine what areas on the plan are critical to reinforce.

The mistake in the above example is that the individuals were drawing incorrect conclusions by merely looking at a selection of the data.

With the Confirmation Bias in mind, how might you reconsider the following quotewe  mentioned in Part 1,

“I’m going to try the Free plan and then upgrade if it works.”

and also reconsider the question posed above:

“Are you in it to win it, or are you just dipping your toes in the water?”

OK, so now maybe you’re considering jumping in the pool. But how long are you willing to hold your breath?

We’ll help answer that question in Part 3 [upcoming].

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