Monday, May 19th, 2008
I’d like to contrast my last post, When people compete, products get better, with an illustration of abundance mentality and consumer choice.
My father-in-law is a restaurateur here in Denver. Several years ago, he took out a full-page ad in the local newspaper that read, “Take this ad to your favorite restaurant and receive $10 off dinner for two.” The ad did not specify the name of a restaurant or any contact information.
Diners then began to show up at restaurants located throughout the Denver area with the coupon and puzzled restaurateurs contacted the paper to see who took out the ad. As the word spread between restaurateurs that my father-in-law was responsible for the ad, they began to call him at his restaurant.
The conversations went something like this: “Hey Ed, there are some customers here at my restaurant who are trying to use your coupon!” to which my father-in-law responded, “It’s not my coupon. It’s everyone’s coupon. But if you don’t wish to be their favorite restaurant, then send them to me. I would be honored to be considered their favorite restaurant!”
To me, that illustrates an abundance mentality versus a scarcity mentality.
While a person with a scarcity mentality sees the world as a finite pie—and feels threatened by forces that may reduce the size of his or her slice—a person with an abundance mentality sees the pie getting larger and larger with more opportunities for everyone to increase the size of his or her slice!