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Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

The Mental Model of Confirmation Bias (aka Goal Seeking or My Side Bias )

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Confirmation Bias is the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their own beliefs, goals or desired outcomes (and ignore what doesn’t fit).

A definition of confirmation bias from the book Consumer Behavior:

“The tendency of consumers to interpret ambigious evidence as consistent with their current beliefs.”

A  business example of confirmation bias is the hugely popular personality-type quizzes (e.g. which ‘Beatle member are you?’ or ‘What type of Ice Cream are you?’). When people take those quizzes they are typically reaffirming the opinion they already have in their mind (“I’m Mick Jagger of course”).

A trick of those quizzes is that most of the successful ones return you results that are positive (you’re unlikely to find one that asks ‘Which mass murderer are you?).

Why do people do this? According to PsyBlog:

“In an uncertain world, people love to be right because it helps us make sense of things. Indeed some psychologists think it’s akin to a basic drive.”

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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Wow, an inspiring company and excellent communication (2 min. read)


If you want to be inspired by a business, please take 2 minutes to read the “2 big announcements” on

Some things that impress me about this business:

  • They have been in biz for 15 years
  • They started as a web design firm and evolved into software (basecamp)
  • They created and open-sourced Ruby on Rails and wrote some books (cool!)
  • They are at 43 people (pretty small team compared to the Dropbox, Facebook, Twitters of the world, but still one with massive respect and footprint!)
  • Last week, 6,622 co.s signed up for new Basecamp accounts and over 15M users have accounts
  • They sat down and talked about their vision for the next TWENTY years. how’s that for forward-thinking?
  • They decided to go all-in on Basecamp and are renaming the company Basecamp and probably spinning off their other products (ballsy)

Flexible, long-term thinkers who are able to focus.


Thanks, team Basecamp!

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