Weekly I/O #19

The Ackerman Model, The F Word, Experience isn’t Learning, Fool Yourself, SXSW 2021

Weekly I/O is a project where I share my learning Input/Output. Every Sunday, I write an email newsletter with five things I discovered and learned that week.

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The below is extracted from the email sent on Apr 04, 2021

1. The Ackerman Bargaining Model: 65%, 85%, 95%, and 100%

The Ackerman Model is a bargaining method that counters with decreasing incremental offers until your target offer price is reached. For example, if we have a target price of $100 for buying a bike, using the Ackerman Model we should initiate our first proposal as $65. Assuming no deal, we then raise our price by 20 percent to $85, then by 10 percent to $95, then by 5 percent to $100.

The key is always increasing by decreasing increments. This makes the other side feel that every price increase is creating a real burden for us. The goal is to build as much rapport as possible with your counterpart.

You can find a more in-depth explanation and demonstration about the Ackerman Model in his book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.

In the online course chapter Bargaining, Chriss Voss had a really fascinating demonstration of bargaining using the Ackerman Model along with all other maneuvers in negotiation.

If you are interested in watching this online course or any other online courses on MasterClass, I have 3 invitations for MasterClass. Feel free to reply to me with your email address by Apr 07, 2021, and I can send you a 7-day Guest Pass!

2. Be careful with the F word in negotiation: Fair.

Fairness comes up in nearly every single negotiation. A classic example is a game called Ultimatum Game, which is played in probably every undergrad’s Econ 101 course.

The rule is as follows (from Wikipedia): “One player, the proposer, is endowed with a sum of money. The proposer is tasked with splitting it with another player, the responder. Once the proposer communicates his decision, the responder may accept it or reject it. If the responder accepts, the money is split per the proposal; if the responder rejects, both players receive nothing.”

It’s clear that, per deal, gaining some amount of money is better than gaining nothing. However, the important thing in the game is that the responders may reject the proposal just because they think they’re treated unfairly, even though they would still receive a good amount of money.

People will walk away from a good deal if they feel like they’ve been treated unfairly. On the other hand, people will accept a deal just because they feel the process is fair regardless of the fact that the offer is bad or suboptimal.

At the beginning of the negotiation, we can say something like “It’s my intention to treat you fairly. If at any point in time I’ve been unfair, let me know. We’ll go back and address it and fix it.” It’s better to be proactive addressing the F word than waiting until the other side explodes on you for feeling treated unfairly.

3. Experience is inevitable, learning is not.

Experience is knowing what happened, while learning is knowing why it happened. Therefore, learning is not automatic. It requires an examination of our experience.

We may easily fall into the trap that we thought we learned something, but the fact was we only experienced something without learning anything. We have to always keep in mind that just because we’re experiencing, doesn’t mean we’re learning.

This also reminds me that, for a teacher, you think you are teaching doesn’t mean your students are actually learning. Teachers must focus on students’ learning, not their teaching. In this case, there’s always a huge difference between a teacher’s intention and students’ outcome.

4. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.” — Richard Feynman

This quote is from his 1974 Caltech’s commencement address.

5. SXSW Online 2021 Official Showcases

South by Southwest (SXSW) has long been on top of my bucket list for music festivals. Although they went fully online this year due to the pandemic, it’s fortunate for us to able to watch the just-released list of their official showcase this year on YouTube.

I’m always obsessed with well-designed music scenes for live music performances, such as Tiny Desk Concert by NPR Music, all the crazily filmed concerts by Cercle, or even just random performances on the street. This year in SXSW, the project Taiwan Beats invites four Taiwanese bands to perform at four Taiwanese iconic attractions: The Chairs at indoor shrimp fishing joint, NekoJam at Taiwanese temple, Fire EX at traditional factory, and Enno Cheng at mountains.

Therefore, if you want to give the list a try but don’t know where to start, you can start with the four Taiwanese bands! Or Holy Fuck if you are into electronica and electronic rock!

That’s it. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy it. If you would like to receive the content every Sunday, sign up below 😎

Voracious learner | Software developer | Cornell Tech student | Better Medium Stats: bit.ly2RH8Jsf | Medium Articles List: chengweihu.com/blog

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