What you never thought of is the correct answer

I love to think, and I think a lot — or at least I think I do. Some people say I think to much. But, I enjoy thinking. Should I be a dunce like them to make them happy? Duh!!! But, I have been learning a lot about thinking. The most important part of how you think is what you don’t think about.

Today I was thinking about how my pricing formula for particular areas on one of my directories doesn’t make any sense. The logic I used to calculate prices had been created years ago, when I was in a much earlier stage of evolution in my business. Now, I am realizing that there are so many factors that could be included to make the formula much more intelligent. But, I didn’t — because I didn’t think of that.

So, whenever you are thinking over a problem, ask yourself, what am I not thinking of, rather than regurgitating ideas that you have already thought through hundreds of times.

Step two, is to compare ideas with a smart friend. Do you have a smart friend? I have a few. Each one has a completely different take. But, one of my friends has opinions that just take me by surprise. He says things that I would never think of that kind of make sense. Wow! Mind expanding thoughts by the dozen with that guy. He opens up the windows of possibility within me.

So instead of pricing an area based on how many people have a high position in that area, there are many other analytics which it never occured to us to use:

# of jobs delegated in that area
clicks in the area
quality of the listings in that area

Another analytics that never occured to me was reviews. But, since so many service providers ask for reviews, the only reliable quantitative source of reviews would be negative reviews.

The critical piece of information I learned is: If I compared areas of similar sizes, the areas with a higher number of top notch service providers got more cumulative jobs than the areas with fewer numbers of quality service providers. My assistant guessed that this might be the case. Additionally, I learned that the jobs were shared between the best service providers and average service providers. So, having high quality people in a particular area serves as a type of an anchor to attract business to an entire area of my site that would be shared by many of its members. Fascinating.

So, once again, what I didn’t think of, happened to be the most important piece of information that I learned about today.

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