Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

27TH July 2011

Creative problem Solving - Geopolitical - Timely - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized - Vision

Why do I trust you? I hardly know you! Damn, it’s Heuristics


Gimme your keys, I'm a good guy... online.

I recently let a home in France from no-one I had ever met, except online.

When I returned, I realized it’s been awhile since I have wailed away on Trust and the dangers of a Trust gap between online behavior and offline repercussions. My thesis is that, if the Trust gap could be bridged, the Sharing Economy (aka collaborative Consumption) would take off.

Since my first post, Sharing Darling airBnB topped off a $112M raise at $1B valuation, which is a good start!  Full disclosure: I have an investment in, and a deep belief for, the benefits of  TrustCloud, mentioned  frequently in my posts but not here.

When you hand the housekeys  to a couch surfer, leave the kids with the new sitter, or hitch a ride with three total unknowns, it’s not a natural feeling. I’ve written about it in my MadMen post, as well as the downside in my Catfish story.

The antidote?  Trust. After my first post of five mistakes, here are five more  common Trust mistakes we are hardwired to commit in real life, and more evidence we should consider asking for a Hall Pass before exposing ourselves in real life to peeps we met online:

 6. Contamination effects, whereby we allow irrelevant but proximate information to influence a decision;

7. The effect heuristic, whereby preconceived value-judgements interfere with our assessment of costs and benefits;

8. Scope neglect, which prevents us from proportionately adjusting what we should be willing to sacrifice to avoid harms of different orders of magnitude;

9. Overconfidence in calibration, which leads us to underestimate the confidence intervals within which our estimates will be robust (e.g. to conflate the ‘best case’ scenario with the ‘most probable’); and

10. Bystander apathy, which inclines us to abdicate individual responsibility when in a crowd.

How many of these dumb trust mistakes do you recognize? When you layer online activity on top of your offline judgements, does it begin to get scary? It has me thinking there has to be an improvement if Sharing is to get super-scale.

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