Trust Game.

Trust Game.

Yesterday was our annual Makers+Mavericks gathering in our old cowshed.

The theme was #wagmi.

We’re all gonna make it.

In other words, let’s help each other.

Over the years, I have learned the importance of small gatherings.

Intimacy doesn’t scale. And, it’s ok.

I opened the event with something I had learnt from a book titled the Voltage Effect by John A. List.

‘How to make good ideas great, and great ideas scale.'

The gist of the trust game goes like this:

“One of the favourite tools amongst behavioural economics.

In this exercise, one player is given an amount of money, say £10.

She then decides how much to give to an anonymous player.

The first player is also informed that it will be tripled by the experimenter.

So, let’s say the first player sends £8.

The second participant then gets £24.

And has to decide how much she will send back to the first player.

The first player is said to trust the second player if she sends a large portion of the £10.

And the second player is said to be trustworthy if she returns a large portion of the received money back.

Hold that thought…

Cut to the Bay of All Saints on the Atlantic coast of Brazil.

There lies a fishing community named Cabuca.

There are no other jobs in the region except fishing.

The waves are choppy, and the fish are big and require heavy poles.

Setting large nets is tricky, and is strenuous to haul them back in.

Over time, they have worked out the only way to do it and stay alive is to do it in teams of 3-8 fishermen.

For the community to eat together, they must fish together.

Some fifty or so kilometres inland from Cabuca along the Paraguacu River sits another small fishing society: Santo Estevao.

They fish the waters of a placid lake.

Thus, they mostly fish solo.

In effect, there are two cultures at play.

One is a team. And one is individualistic.

When the behaviourist economists did some experiments, including the trust game, they found the Cabuca trusted others significantly more than those from Santa Estevao did.

They were also more trustworthy.

They contributed more to public goods.

Donated more to charity.

They prioritised well being for others.

The fishing habits of daily teamwork and collaboration had instilled in them in pro-social behaviours.

In other words, their culture scaled.

Which is why we are here today in this cowshed.

Being an entrepreneur, a company of one, can be lonely at times.

You tend to think that you have a monopoly on the problems you are facing.

But, other people in this cowshed have already solved your problem.

They are here to help you.

Let me introduce you to them.

Let’s begin….

David Hieatt

David Hieatt

Bankrupt at 16. Thrown out of college at 18. Joined Saatchi + Saatchi at 21. Started howies in 1995. Sold it to Timberland. Left. Started The Do Lectures. Started Hiut Denim Co.

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