Valuing Information Products

Source: Scott Young website, Feb 2016

how I make the decision to buy information products. Making those decisions wisely avoids two problems. The first, and most obvious, is wasting your money on something you never use. The second, and more subtle, is wasting your time because you didn’t invest in yourself.

The first step is to look at how important ideas could potentially be for that area of your life. I’m willing to spend more on courses that could potentially improve my business, even by a very modest multiplier of effort, than I am for courses which will make me better at a hobby. The reason is simple, it doesn’t take much improvement for a business idea to pay for itself.

This also works for important-but-non-financial areas of life, like health or relationships. Being healthier might not directly make more money, but if I can make an improvement here, it will indirectly pay for itself by increasing my energy.

The second step is to consider how much time and effort you’re willing to put in to realizing the value of the information. It’s not possible to maximally invest your time and effort into every idea you encounter. It’s not even clear that would be a good strategy even if you did. Instead, you’ll probably find yourself split—investing lightly in a lot of ideas and heavily in a few.

While surprisingness can signal the value of an idea, most good ideas aren’t surprising. The value of counter-intuitive ideas is that, since you think about them a lot, they’re more likely to influence your behavior if you’re not actually putting in effort to deliberately implement the ideas.

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