The Value of Money

Did economic man ever exist?

At a recent lunch I attended, the discussion turned to money. People were asking, “What is money? Is it worth anything?” My answer – that depends on you.

In the orthodox view of economics, money improves the flow of goods and services in an economy, making economic exchange easier and more convenient. Without money, we would barter to realize the value of what we each produce, and that would absorb addi-tional energy and economic resources. In this view, money has no value. It simply facili-tates economic exchange. What we think of as money today in the US is Fiat Money, the paper bills and coins in our pockets. Fiat Money or Fiduciary money has value simply because a government has declared it suitable for all ‘debts public and private’. It is not backed by gold, silver, or anything else of intrinsic value, only the faith and confidence held in the organization that issues the currency. Since it has use for ‘all debts public and private’, it is also our measure of value, or the worth of goods and services. In the United States, the paper currency has been primarily Federal Reserve Notes since 1968, and they contain the statement that they are: “legal tender for all debts, public and private”. As liabilities of the Federal Reserve and obligations of the US government, they have no back-ing other than that established by confidence in the US governent.1

However, money seems to be something more. Our analysis will use a framework that has been emerging from the research of neuroscientists and includes both affective (emo-tional) and deliberative brain function. Unlike the economic orthodoxy that assumes only rational, or deliberative processes, modern neuroscience is discovering that decision-making is affective as emotions influence our choices.

Among these neuroscientists are neurobiologist Antonio Damasio, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, and economist Herbet A Simon. All have observed central roles for the interplay of affective and deliberative processes. Damasio has outlined the role different regions of the brain provide while Kahneman and Simon, who have received Nobel prizes for their efforts, focus on the interplay of emotions and deliberative thought. Richard Thaler, an economist who utilizes an affective framework to study choice, has explained a number of anomalies to orthodox theory.

Application of the approach has provided insight into examples from marketing and pricing, labor markets, housing, and other areas where orthodox theory is incomplete. If economic man is the purely rational decision maker, perhaps it’s time to focus on real people and their behaviors to improve our insight into decisions.

Economic man and consumer indifference

In orthodox economic theory, where money has no affect on the production of goods and services other than by facilitating exchange, it’s through the concept of ‘indifference’ that the important trade-offs between consumer choices are established, deriving much of the foundation of the theory of choice.

In orthodox economic theory, where money has no affect on the production of goods and services other than by facilitating exchange, it’s through the concept of ‘indifference’ that the important trade-offs between consumer choices are established, deriving much of the foundation of the theory of choice.

The standard consumer theory exposition of choice2 depends on the development of the concept of ‘indifference’ between choices. For example, a consumer is indifferent when there is no preference between spending $5.00 for a new coffee cup and keeping the $5.00 – either one or the other provides the same level of satisfaction, or utility. Lower the price below $5.00 and the cup will be the choice, raise it and the $5.00 will be the choice. Similarly, improve or weaken features of the coffee cup and it is chosen or is not chosen. Indifference is just that – it is the point where the choice of one or the other item provides the same level of satisfaction to the chooser.

While the exposition of economic theory to which we are accustomed develops our sense of ‘economic man’, it also draws from an intellectual framework that optimizes decisions. Modern man is not yet that economic man. While these are processes modern man can be capable of performing, it is becoming apparent that evolution has presented us with a dif-ferent brain. Antonio Damasio’s3 investigation into the human brain are from a neurobiological perspective and have identified different parts of the brain and the role they play in decision-making, and while there are feedback mechanisms from more deliberative processes, evolution has given us a brain today that utilizes affective as well as deliberative processes.

Loss Aversion and ‘Real People’

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky are two psychologists at the forefront describing the patterns and emotions we often use making decisions. In their view, modern man is the result of a long period of evolution and thought that is a combination of emotional and deliberative processes. Kahneman, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics for his work with Tversky, after recognizing the role of Tversky4 in their work during his Nobel Prize lecture, said:

The starting point of the present analysis was the observation that complex judgments and preferences are called ‘intuitive’ in everyday language if they come to mind quickly and effortlessly, like percepts. Another basic observation was that judgments and intentions are normally intuitive in this sense, but can be modified or overridden in a more deliberate mode of operation.

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A key finding of theirs was the identification of different responses to gains and losses, with losses receiving more weight than gains. This asymmetric response is called Loss Aversion, and it challenges the ‘indifference’ conclusions of traditional economic theory.

Several examples will illustrate the aversion to loss (sometimes examples of the biases that require greater compensation for losses than gains are called an ‘Endowment Effect’, other similar biases are known as the ‘Status Quo’ bias, but all refer to Loss Aversion). A famous experiment with Cornell Univerity students6 that provided students with a coffee mug or candy bar, each with an identical market value is an example of the ‘Endowment Effect’. Researchers established that students had no significant tendency to prefer one object to the other, and the objects were randomly distributed so that roughly, half the students would not receive their preferred object. When allowed to trade they would look for someone willing to make the exchange. Experimental results show barely 10% of students traded.

Over the past ten years, similar tests have studied consumer responses to ‘endowment’ effects. Consistently, once endowed or given, an object, consumers demonstrate a reluctance to exchange it for something else7, requiring compensation greater than the initial value of the item to trade (the evolutionary nature of the behavior has also been recognized in research on Capuchin monkeys, where loss aversion has also been recognized8).

In financial markets, loss aversion can occur when investors focus too closely on the pur-chase price of securities that have declined rather than the current price. Financial advisers often suggest investors evaluate the equities they own independent of the pur-chase price to determine current value. The equity is either worth owning now or not, independent of the price paid in the past, something many investors find difficult, often holding securities too long in the hope of ‘getting back’ their initial investment. Warren Buffett, famous investor with one of the most enviable records of accomplishment has commented that the key to successful investing is more temperament than intelligence.

Investing is not complicated; you work to find pockets of value. You didn’t need a high IQ to buy junk bonds in 2002 — you needed to have the courage of your convictions when everyone else was terrified, and it was the same in 1974. People were paralyzed. You need to learn to follow logic rather than emotion, and that’s easier for some people to do than others.

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In his book “Winner’s Dilemma” Richard Thaler relates another story about Loss Aversion, called the ‘status quo’ bias. In this version, loss is perceived as a movement away from a point of reference, the ‘status quo’. He quotes a reader of his column, Anomalies, pub-lished in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, about the response of decision makers in the American Economic Association on which of two choices would be presented to mem-bers as the status quo.

You may be interested to know that when the AEA was considering letting members elect to drop one of the three Association journals and get a credit, prominent economists involved in that decision clearly took the view that fewer members would choose to drop a journal if the default was presented as all three journals (rather than the default being two journals with an extra charge for getting all three). We’re talking economists here.

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Labor markets also respond to loss aversion. There evidence demonstrates labor’s aver-sion to loss when firms prefer to increase nominal wages at less than the rate of inflation, rather than cut real wages. Without inflation, a cut in nominal wages would be the same as a cut in real wages, a loss to workers. Raising nominal wages may appear to reduce the loss, and probably requires some rational thought. While still not happy, it appears workers are less unhappy.

The US Federal Reserve Bank is often criticized that the purchasing power of the US dollar has declined to 5%11,12 of its value when the Fed was establishment in 1913.13

If prices had remained stable however, cuts in nominal wages would reflect more of the real reductions. Since firms often cut real wages, inflation reduces the emotion in the loss. While still not happy, workers are less unhappy.14

The Value of Money

If we go back to the origins of utility theory and indifference, a dollar is a dollar is a dollar, and movement along an indifference curve reflects no change in utility. The value of the dollar does not change. However, under a behavioral analysis it is clear that consumer utility evaluations are sensitive to perceptions, and perceptions, being part of our neurological processes, are subjective. Since most economic transactions are not barter (coffee cups for candy bars), money measures the loss. To answer the question in the title, “Yes money has value, and the value changes according to the perception of gains and losses”, as explained in the following simple example.

Let’s assume a car manufacturer is selling a new model car in two different regions to test consumer’s response to price. The framework for each region is different, but the final price paid and the car delivered are the same. In one area, the manufacturer announces that due to anticipated strong demand the price of the car will rise from $20,000 to $21,000. In another region, an announcement that due to a special promotion the same car’s price will be $21,000, a reduction from an initial price of $22,000. In a loss aversion framework, consumers will see the surcharge as a loss, and sales will suffer while con-sumers in the latter region will see greater value.

Framing the issue in a positive sense, saving $1000 for example, enhances perceptions of utility while a presentation in a negative frame, a loss of $1000, diminishes utility even though final purchase price and type of car is the same in each region. Clearly, the way choices are framed will have a significant impact on the outcome of consumer choice.

In one experiment, researchers have also demonstrated similar responses in health care. Breast self-exams are very useful for the early detection of breast cancer. But, the exam is psychologically risky. Identical brochures, one highlighting the gains from self-exam and another the risk of inaction were distributed. The brochures that emphasized the risk of inaction were more effective.

It’s important to recognize that the context in which choices are presented is influential. Whether it be the frame in which medical literature is presented or the context that pres-ents prices, choices will be changed. For firms, pricing should occur in stages. In an accounting sense, they are inputs that determine profit and margins. But from a demand point of view price influences the demand elasticity, but perhaps more important is not the choice of a particular price for a product or service, but the way it is presented.

Emerging Choice Theory

Loss aversion is an example of an affective response that alters the outcome of choices. Current research into affective responses and the interaction of deliberative and emotional systems is demonstrating a more complex understanding of choice. Compared to the approach of orthodox economics where stable goals and choices among alternatives that are consistent with these goals take place, affective behavior reveals processes that are more complex and more intuitive. While loss aversion is just one example of an affective response, it demonstrates that individual characteristics and product attributes interact dif-ferently. For those interested in human behavior it continues to shed light on these behaviors.


1 – For more on the history of money see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/moolah/history.html and http://minneapolisfed.org/econed/curric/history.cfm.
2 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_theory
3 - Damasio, A. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1994.
4 - Nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously. Tversky died in 1996.
5 - Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Lecture
6 -; To have and to hold
7 - The test was first reported in: “Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem”, Daniel Kahneman, Jack L. Knetsch, Richard H. Thaler Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 98, No. 6 (Dec., 1990) , pp. 1325-1348
8 - Humans’ Rational and Irrational Buying Behavior Is Mirrored in Monkeys
9 - Berkshire Behind the Scenes: Part 5
10 - Thaler, R. H. The Winner’s Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life, New York: Free Press, 1991, page 70.
11 - Inflation and the Fed
12 - What is a dollar worth?
13 - Federal Reserve
14 - Goette and Huffman, Do Emotions Improve Labor Market Outcomes?


Ceteris Paribus – All Things Being Equal


Why the human brain is more important today!

“The three questions I invited you to answer are handled by different parts of the brain.”

What is this all about? “questions … handled by different parts of the brain.”? And does this have anything to do with business, finance, economics, or what? Well, the short answer is “It’s all about us, and it’s a very big deal that matters a lot.”

Ceteris paribus what?

Traditionally, economics is the study of how we choose to allocate scarce resources among alternative uses. Attention is often on complex processes as it is with other areas of human study. To create useful analysis where human intelligence can gain understanding we abstract, that is we simplify and hold constant elements not considered critical to the analysis. The Latin, ceteris paribus indicates these assumptions. Recently, much has been learned about human thought processes and the neural system, resulting in new perceptions of human thought and the decision making process. The assumptions about choice are changing.

For about 400 years there has been a perception, dominant in Western philosophy that the mind and body function best when independent, each functioning without interaction with the other. René Descartes , (1596-1650) was among the first to set out this belief. His famous quote “Cogito, ergo sum” (In English: “I think, therefore I am.”) summarizes the view and that of many who followed him that the acquisition of knowledge and the decision-making process are best when devoid of emotion, following reason and logic only. This established a tradition of ‘rationalism’ that has been the foundation of much thought since and continues today.

We see it in Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”, published in 1776. There, Smith assumes that the decisions of the actors in his exposition of a market economy are rational, behave according to their own interests and have the knowledge and capacity to do so. Herbert A. Simon, the 1978 Nobel laureate economist, reflected concern with Smith’s view when he questioned the cognitive capacity of people in modern economies as the amount and complexity of information expands.

According to Simon, people in the institutions he studied developed methods (short cuts) to simplify decision-making due to limits, or bounds put on rational decision-making by limitations of human capacity. It’s doubtful the trend of rapid economic change and complex information flows today is reducing these bounds.

John von Neumann also refined the view with his contributions to Game Theory when he recognized that interactions between people alter the outcome of decisions . In Adam Smith’s world each participant was a small part of the total, as a result the terms of an exchange were not negotiable, they were static, take it or leave it. In von Neumann’s world players are aware of each other and each tries to anticipate the actions of the other.

How do we make choices?

More recently medical technology has aided our understanding of decision-making by revealing the location in the brain of different processes, challenging the assumption that emotion and feelings have no role in the brain/mind process. Antonio Damasio, one of the leaders looking into what has been the ‘black box’ of the human brain, documents some of his research in his book “Descartes’ Error” , where he hypothesizes that emotions have a central role in effective decision making.

It’s Damasio’s belief, and that of many others studying neuroscience that the brain is a complex organ made up not of a homogenous substance, (‘gray matter’), but of many different parts interconnected and with different roles to play. Some of these roles are unconscious, others not. When our blood sugar begins to fall our bodies set off a number of responses that we are not aware of, except we begin to feel hungry. Our awareness of the particular body processes is low, but we begin to think about eating. Other responses are probably learned. Once we see something falling toward us and don’t move, next time we duck. A fast moving car comes around a corner, we jump, and we don’t consciously think about that. We think about a career, who to date or marry, where to go to church and we are probably using other, more methodical, deliberate parts of the conscious brain.

What is important in Damasio’s hypothesis is the role of emotion and affective responses. Unlike Descartes where emotion had no role, Damasio sees a critical function for emotion; where there are unconscious behaviors and where behaviors are learned, and also where processes are more deliberative but limits to the ability of the human brain set boundaries on its capability. Here, affective regions of the brain can assist by providing a ‘gut feeling’ or a ‘somatic marker’ that assists the brain to a response.

These are complex and intricate processes where the range of alternatives are unknown and the outcomes of each uncertain, and, according to Damsio, the consequences of a ‘purely’ rational approach are severe and overwhelming.

“Now, let me submit that if this strategy is the only one you have available, rationality, as described above, is not going to work. At best, your decision will take an inordinately long time, far more than acceptable if you are to get anything else done that day. At worst, you may not even end up with a decision at all because you will get lost in the byways of your calculation.”

Research on the interaction and role of affective responses continues. A study of choices at Princeton University provides further evidence that emotion has a role in decision-making. In the study subjects receive 10 $1.00 bills and are allowed to keep part of the money if a second subject is offered and accepts some part of the original $10.00. Called the ‘ultimatum game’, it tests how the brain works and whether rational assumptions are justified. According to a ‘rational’ process the 2nd subject would accept $1.00 if offered since that would be a net benefit, and the subject setting the terms would recognize that and offer the $1.00, keeping the greatest benefit to themselves – $9.00.

“In their study, the Princeton researchers asked people to play the ultimatum game while the receiver’s brain was scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a technology that allows researchers to see what brain areas are active at all moments during the study. They found that the more unfair the offer, the more activity they saw in an area called the anterior insula, which is associated with disgust and other negative emotions.

“Another brain area, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is associated with working memory and deliberative thought, also responded to unfair offers. When the researchers averaged the results from 19 subjects, who each played 10 rounds of the game with different proposers, they found that the activity of the emotion area exceeded that of the deliberative area in cases when the subjects rejected the offers. The reverse was true when they accepted offers.

“It is not only telling us that there is an emotional response but that there seems to be a competition between these different considerations or ways of processing the situation,” said Jonathan Cohen, who directs Princeton’s Center for the Study of Brain, Mind and Behavior and is a co-author of the study.”

In a private test the author asked his mother-in-law if she would accept an offer of $1.00. She thought a few moments and said “Sure”. Then, after presenting the two people scenario above, she was asked if she would accept $1.00 under those conditions. The response was immediate, “Oh no Tom, 50 – 50, fair is fair.”

Where do we go from here?

The ‘ultimatum game’ study has demonstrated that both affective and deliberative areas of the brain are active when decisions are made. Rejected offers demonstrated more activity in regions where disgust and negative emotions are active while accepted offers demonstrated more activity in areas of working memory and deliberation.

It is important to recognize that activities in different areas are dependent; there is interplay or collaboration between affective and cognitive areas of the brain. Damasio: “There is still room for a cost/benefit analysis and proper deductive competence, but only after the automated step drastically reduced the number of options.” When the collaboration works well it can either reinforce or correct affective responses, when it does not work well unsatisfactory decisions will continue.

For anyone curious about the decisions people make, as well as decision makers, adjustments to our perception and understanding of the process is warranted. This does not reject earlier efforts to understand choices, but, ceteris paribus, improves our understanding.

Already making some changes

During the past several decades our understanding of choices and decision-making has moved well beyond the insight provided by the rational model. In particular, emotions are frequent catalysts to decisions. It’s already recognized that emotions such as trust are important during exchanges. Since most decision makers have imperfect information, as pointed out by Damasio, they frequently rely on affective responses to make a decision without becoming incapacitated by details. The degree of trust felt by the party receiving an offer can well provide the switch between acceptance and rejection.

A recent conversation with someone who was buying a new computer over the telephone illustrates that role. The buyer has good computer knowledge and asked the salesperson’s opinion in areas where his knowledge was less. Listening to the description of the process it is clear there came a point where the buyer crossed a threshold and decided to trust the salesperson and make the purchase. The purchase decision was based on the interaction with the salesperson and a previous relationship with the company, and future decisions will likely depend on this experience.

Today we are beginning to recognize and identify the role of affective processes in our decisions. While the rational, neo-classical economic model has been extraordinarily successful providing useful information on consumer choice, they are mostly macroeconomic and built on large collections of aggregated data, losing differences between individuals in the process. Methodologies which include affective processes have the potential to provide more insight into individual differences and individual choices.

This is changing the way decision-making behaviors are modeled. The neo-classical approach has been built on mathematical structures which best represent rational choice, methods that build on knowledge developed by including affective responses are creating new insight into individual choice.

And that is learning more about us, and that’s a very big deal that matters a lot.


A Lesson from the Best (from 2005)

With about $43 billion in cash on its books at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2005, the Berkshire Hathaway Corporation has the means to have just about any web site known to man. When a startup web development company sent a letter to the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway offering their services to develop a new design to improve the aesthetic appeal of the site, they received a quick response from CEO Warren Buffett.  In a handwritten note, Mr. Buffett explained his approach and that the company web site was suitable for the company’s intentionally plain style.

More than once the Berkshire Hathaway web site has been described as minimal. Essentially, the site is 2 columns of links to information that list annual reports, letters to stockholders, announcements and links to companies owned by Berkshire Hathaway in case site visitors want information or to make a purchase.  (For the technically knowledgeable there are no graphics except 1 gif and 1 jpg file at the bottom of the page and they are links to the sites of two companies owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Colors are contained in the following instruction: <BODY TEXT=”#000080″ LINK=”#800080″ VLINK=”#ff0000″ BGCOLOR=”#ffffff”>.)

Building Value

Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company that buys other businesses. By focusing on getting the most value from each dollar he spends, Buffett has seen the price of class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock rise from the area of $8.00 in the 1960s to $80,500 at this writing (September 21, 2005.  This is down from a 52 week high of $92,000).

He has done this by staying on the lookout for undervalued companies and for companies where he recognizes something he (Berkshire Hathaway) can do to increase value.  One of these companies is the automobile insurer GEICO.  GEICO was founded in the 1930s with a business plan that kept costs low by marketing to lower risk groups of customers.  It also used direct marketing instead of supporting (and paying commissions to) sales agents. It worked and GEICO did well.

Buffett, who had been involved with GEICO early in his career, liked the value he’d seen but saw the potential for more value and in 1996 bought the entire company through Berkshire Hathaway.  But unlike the approach with Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett decided that increasing GEICOs value meant increased spending on advertising and marketing and he increased the advertising budget.

From the history section of the GEICO web site:

“Warren Buffett liked what he saw. In 1995, his Berkshire Hathaway investment firm made a generous bid for the remaining shares of GEICO’s outstanding stock, and by 1996, GEICO was a subsidiary of one of the most profitable organizations in the country.”

“That led to national advertising on an enormous scale. GEICO’s ads and direct mail pieces flooded the airwaves and filled mailboxes around the country and the company’s growth shot upward. The GEICO Gecko made its first appearance during the 2000 television season and has quickly become an advertising icon.”

Today, GEICOs direct advertising efforts include vehicles such as direct mail, TV, radio, and the Internet.  Recently GEICO introduced a new series of television ads. Typical in his quest for value Buffett asked about the new television ads: “Do they work?

Potential Value

The role of the Internet (and other online communication technologies) as a way of reaching customers is growing.  From the early days of ARPANET when most users were technical people to the Internet of today where user friendliness and non-technical users are common, the numbers are increasing. But, this evolution is not just larger numbers.  It is also that the Internet’s role as a source of information and commerce is rising as well.

In a December 2002 report “Counting on the Internet”, the Pew Internet and American Life Project documents Americans increasing reliance on the Internet and also that our institutions are changing in response. “The dissemination of the Internet has transformed how many Americans find information and altered how they engage with many institutions, such as government, health care providers, the news media, and commercial enterprises.  Terms such as electronic commerce, e-health, telemedicine, and e-government were novel ten years ago.  Today, major newspapers and magazines routinely have special sections on these topics, with many having feature sections on these subject regularly.”

Overall 84% of Americans expect to find reliable online information about the institutions mentioned above.  This includes 63% who expect a business to have a web site with information about a product that they are considering for purchase. Even if online shopping is not provided an online presence is important. “If a store provides product information online, even if it doesn’t sell products at its Web site, nearly half of all Americans (46%) said this would make them more likely to go to the physical store to buy the product.”

Building Value II – Focus on customers

Value doesn’t mean lowest cost.  It means being smart about the way you spend, and when you’re spending to attract customers, that means knowing something about those customers.  Buffett’s understanding of the people interested in Berkshire Hathaway led him to the “intentionally plain style” of that web site, and his confidence that the managers of the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary companies understand their customers leads to the different styles and techniques seen among those web sites. (The term customer is here meant to include visitors to web sites, email users, or anyone accessing information with these technologies.  While the term usually refers to a participant in a commercial transaction, it is not the use here.)

Marketing professionals have long stressed that attention to customers is a key to the success of many companies, and that companies that understand the behavior of their customers have a better chance to rise to the top.  Spending budgets wisely and increasing value still depends on the same issues: attracting visitors, turning visitors into customers, and getting those customers to return.

But there are changes.  As users interact with online technologies new habits and behaviors are evolving.  Communication still takes at least two parties.  It’s a message sent, and a message received.  Over time many communication techniques have developed, and they can be strikingly effective.  But as use of online technologies becomes part of our culture users are developing new behaviors.

The challenge is becoming less a technical one of sending a message and more a challenge of understanding and adapting to these new behaviors. Online communication is different.  For example, when online the social environment is different and there are no investments of time to physically visit a location.  So, if users are not comfortable with the content of a message they just click and go on.  Or if they find something else about the message that’s not appealing, they click and go elsewhere.

The recognition of online behaviors is important for effective online communication.  Ineffective messages are both costly and lost opportunities that may not happen again soon, or not without additional expense.  As pointed out by the Pew report, online use is increasing from more users and their greater reliance on the Internet for information.  Message senders who pay attention to the behavior of these online users and who recognize that behavior will gain.  The gain will be more visitors who turn into customers and increased customer loyalty.

So while some things have changed, the basics have not.  Sending messages that appeal to message receivers is still important.  What is different is the behavior of people as they interact with online technologies and our need to understand and adapt our messages to that behavior so we use these technologies effectively and build value from use of the technology.

Realizing Value – No Time Like the Present

There is a lot at stake.  As users develop behaviors and habits inertia develops.  Once in place, it’s increasingly difficult to alter that inertia.  Consumer marketing experts have long identified the value of establishing a ‘Brand’ to build loyalty among customers.

Understanding and adapting to people is part of communicating.  It’s no different online.  What is different is the emergence of behaviors unique to online users, and the need for message senders to be knowledgeable of those behaviors to send effective messages.

Moving On

OK, since you’re on a Hungry Peasant blog we’ll accept that you’ve already started to recognize something new and different about communicating with online technologies.

This web site contains work of people who are committed to and believe in the opportunity that exists by using these technologies.  Look at the other links.  Use them, read them, and you’ll be developing a better understanding of user behavior that will help you develop more effective communication, and build the kind of value that has a strong track record of success.

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Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is listed by Forbes Magazine as the 2nd richest person in the world with a $44 billion net worth.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project produces reports that explore the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. The Project aims to be an authoritative source on the evolution of the Internet through collection of data and analysis of real-world developments as they affect the virtual world.

The web sites of  Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries at  http://berkshirehathaway.com/subs/sublinks.html.