Before you go off chasing some more scare goods and services. Stop. Let’s talk about this first.
Why do you want this thing?
- Do you want a certain car because you need to get from point A to point B, or is it about status?
- Are you considering a certain subscription because you cannot find the information for free anywhere else, or because enrollment is closing soon?
- Do you want a Louis Vuitton purse because it’s the best, or because it is unattainable for so many others?
Let’s just be aware that:
We want some things for what they do. We want other things for how they make us feel.
Therein lies an important insight. The joy is not in experiencing a scarce commodity but in possessing it. It is important that we not confuse the two. Whenever we confront the scarcity pressures surrounding some item, we must also confront the question of what it is we want from the item. If the answer is that we want the thing for the social, economic, or psychological benefits of possessing something rare, then, fine; scarcity pressures will give us a good indication of how much we would want to pay for it—the less available it is, the more valuable to us it will be. But very often we don’t want a thing purely for the sake of owning it. We want it, instead, for its utility value; we want to eat it or drink it or touch it or hear it or drive it or otherwise use it. In such cases it is vital to remember that scarce things do not taste or feel or sound or ride or work any better because of their limited availability.
-Robert Cialdini, Influence