Most people are horrible apes online. They can't spell. They spam women with penis pictures. They say rude things. They sound bananas. So by taking a few minutes to not be rude, weird, or bananas you will do better than 90% of the people on the internet.
The Craigslist Penis Effect - I Will Teach You To Be Rich
The Craigslist Penis Effect describes situations where everyone else is so horrible that, by being even half-decent, you can dominate everyone else and win.
These moron men on Craigslist would be better served writing 5 half-decent responses, testing to see which got the best response, and then sending it out instead of a picture of their generally mediocre manhood. I did exactly that for my friend on JDate and ended up getting very good at introducing girls to him. (Jewish women, beware of my Ashkenazi skills.)
Let’s take some examples where everyone else is so terrible that you can dominate by being even somewhat competent.
Negotiations. Most people are awful negotiators (especially for jobs and especially in America). That’s because nobody teaches us how to negotiate — indeed, we’re actively taught that it’s “weird” and “awkward” to negotiate. By contrast, I find it “weird” to lose $10,000 because you didn’t take 5 hours to practice your negotiating pitch beforehand, like my friend Rachel did. By simply starting a negotiation, you stand out from 80% of other applicants.
Writing effective emails. Most people send out dozens of emails per day. Yet when was the last time they studied the best emailers to learn techniques to (1) get busy people to respond to them, (2) cut down on back-and-forth emails, and (3) get what they wanted via email? (I’m working on a product with 50 email scripts you can use today. Newsletter subscribers get first crack.)
Conferences. Most conferences are boring and bad. But so are most conference go-ers, who don’t do their homework beforehand, eat with their co-worker, and miss the prime benefits of networking. (The book Never Eat Alone has a magical chapter on how to be a master networker at conferences.)
Exercise. Go for a 30-minute run every day and you’ll be in better shape than 90% of adult Americans. Stop debating minutiae about health and get off your ass.
Holding onto expensive purchases for years (even decades). We love to buy expensive things like houses and cars, then turn around and sell them 5 years later. This is literally one of the most poisonous financial decisions you can make: Not only do you incur huge transaction costs, but you condition yourself to think that buying and selling expensive goods every few years is normal. Instead, if you can use the Tripod of Stability to make major purchases, you can spend that money on things that you love — rather than transaction fees.
Earning money online. As Erica Douglass recently said, “If you earn $1 online, you’re doing better than 90% of people.”