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Do you reward incompetence?

The issue here is the perception of value: it’s not what we’re getting, it’s how much effort the other person puts in. Would you pay for incompetence? Before you answer watch this video.

As I mention in the video, what’s really interesting is that this locksmith was penalized for getting better at his profession. He was tipped better when he was an apprentice and it took him longer to pick a lock, even though he would oftentimes break the lock! Now that it takes him only a moment, his customers complain that he is overcharging and they don’t tip him. What this tells is that consumers don’t value goods and services solely by their utility, benefit from the service, but also a sense of fairness relating to how much effort was exerted. Now imagine how much more people would pay if they knew the effort that goes into all kinds of products and services?


Dan Ariely is the best-selling author of The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home and Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.