[00:00:15] However he's made a transition from being a software developer to a software consultant. And nowadays he focuses on Sloan and nowadays he focuses on emotional blind spots. And that's the topic for this show. Wes welcome.
[00:00:30] Thanks for having me. Kirk glad to be here again.
[00:00:32] If I'm counting correctly this is probably your fifth appearance on the show.
[00:00:37] I think that's about right. We'll probably make a couple of experiences or appearances out of this one time.
[00:00:43] It could very well happen. It's happened in the past.
[00:00:46] Sometimes we're just too much to say.
[00:00:48] One thing I want to share with you as well as with our audience is we have a couple of events that we're announcing back. We mentioned briefly last week but more the details are coming together. We're doing an art of value conference a two-day conference here in Allen Texas coming up in November of this year by 2017. It'll be Wednesday and Thursday November 8th and 9th and then on the 11th and 12th we're going to be hosting our friends from various age and doing the biannual Versailles symposium. So, Ed Kless and I are organizing those and of course you're invited.
[00:01:25] Can't wait for it again.
[00:01:26] It's a good time and we're going to be doing something interesting this year. In the past, the Versailles symposium has kind of been a by a 10 by invitation only event. However, this year we're going to open it up to the public.
[00:01:40] Now there will be a fee but you will be able to come and rub shoulders and brains with some of the smartest people in various professions as it relates to pricing. So, look for more information on that to be coming on future episodes. Wes as we get into the interview start where we always do. What's the latest thing you can share about pricing.
[00:02:04] The latest thing I can share about pricing is if you understand how your mind works and understand how you make decisions and act you can start to see new ways to price better to better understand your customer and approach the situation of not just pricing but business in general with a lot more confidence.
[00:02:23] I love how you tied your answer into the theme of the show which is this topic of emotional blind spots. What is an emotional blind spot.
[00:02:32] Yeah this dominates my thinking a lot so I'll go back a little bit here. You know I'm a computer person for a long time but I've also had an interest and I would say the people side of things and in my pursuit of technology I've read a lot of stuff and come across a lot of things and try to expand my knowledge and a lot of ways. And a couple of years ago I picked up a book called Designing with a mind to mind. I was trying to get into understanding a little bit better about user interface design and how people interact with software and maybe learn a few things about how software could be developed to be a little more intuitive for people. At that time, I was still developing a lot of software and was curious about how I could make that offer better for people. And surprisingly this book wasn't just a bunch of rules about how you should layout software and what it should look like. The book got into a lot of psychology about how the mind works how we perceive things. One thing that really resonated with me when you're developing software as with doing anything when you're in the trenches everyday working on the software you know what the software does you know where the 5000 options are that you've designed into the software. And if you need to carry out some task with the software you know exactly where to go to do it. But when you put that software in front of users it was frustrating for me a lot and I think it's frustrating for a lot of people to develop software.
[00:03:51] It's frustrating when those users just do not know what to do with the software even the simplest of tasks like printing something or sending an email might seem really difficult. Other people and it can be frustrating when you're looking at the same screen that they're looking at and it's right there right you know click that button that prints the prints the document out or whatever it is that you're trying to work through with an end user. But they just can't seem to find it and it just excruciatingly slow watching them navigate an application. But what I realized what this book helped me realize is I wasn't aware of a bias that I had when I was putting that offer in front of other people and the biases that we all assume this we all assume that people see the world the same way that we see the world and this is one of a myriad of biases that we bring in to just about every situation. And so, when I'm looking at a screen and somebody else is looking at a screen and a piece of software is up what seems intuitive and easy to me is not intuitive and easy to other people. And once I understood that then it was no longer frustrating to watch somebody else navigate this offer. But it was actually I could flip it around on its head and I could use that to my advantage if I have somebody looking at soccer for the first time. Time the things that are not intuitive to them are the things that maybe need to be redesigned. So, it's an opportunity then instead of a frustration.
[00:05:08] And this book was just chock full of these examples and what I eventually realized was that I had a strong interest in learning a lot about psychology and so I got into a lot of psychology books and that's where I got to today and that's why emotions dominate a lot of how I think about things and are what I put into my everyday work and that's where that's how I ultimately came to the topic of emotional blind spots. So, a blind spot for example emotionally is that I assume that people see the same screen that I see that if something's easy for me it should be easy for them. Maybe a better example of a blind spot though another way to think about this. We have a lot of perceptive blind spots. The blue gold dress dilemma which way which way was it for you was it blue or was it gold for you. I don't know what dress you're talking about. Oh, you didn't see it. I thought I picked an example that would relate to people. There is this there is this picture of a dress that floated around the Internet and some people would look at it and they'd see it as blue and black and other people would look at it and I think it was like white and gold and it had to do with lighting in the picture and how the brain interprets based on the lighting what the colors are and what you don't realize a lot of times. We all think we see the same world that we see. So, this is actually a perceptive blind spot similar to this offer when I was talking about but the reality is some people saw blue black.
[00:06:24] I think the majority of people did it but there was a contingent of people sizable that saw it completely different and it broke the Internet. I think for a day a couple of years ago. So, there are countless examples of these ways in which we're looking at something that's physically right in front of us and what's there is not what we see. That's one example another great example if you've ever if you just google for blind spot and maybe put the word line in you'll come up with some images that have a line that has a little gap in it. And you can follow the instructions on one of these that you find and what you'll realize is if you close one eye and look at look at it with the opposing eye not followed instructions it's a bit convoluted. What you'll find is that your brain will fill in the gap and complete the line depending on how you look at the line. So, our brain is filling in the gap a lot of times to fill in for these perceptive blind spots but it's not just perceptive it's emotional as well like I was talking about. We come into so many situations with beliefs that guide our behavior that shape the world that we see and that's how we come to this topic of emotional blind spots what is working on the way we see the world psychologically. They're not just perception but psychologically that influences how we act. And that was really interesting to me because I like I said I wanted to learn a lot about the people side of things and business is very important.
[00:07:46] It's an area I felt like I didn't have a lot of understanding aside from just experience. And this concept of an emotional blind spot helped me realize that there's a whole world of understanding people that I was interested in and that once I started to understand that world I was able to create tools to help me not manipulate but to help me control that world a little bit for my own gain and for other people's gains instead of being caught off guard or maybe having my actions subverted by biases and blind spots that I'm not aware of.
[00:08:19] So you've taken this idea of emotional blind spots and you've applied it in at least a couple ways that I'm aware of. First one I want to talk about is kind of surprising but then I want to come back and talk about it with software development. So, as you know the theme of the show is value pricing and so it would make sense to talk about it in that context. I want to start with this question What are some potential blind spots in a conversation. And I'd like to get your answer from both perspectives. So first for the customer what are some of their blind spots. But then also for the professional What are some of the blind spots as well.
[00:08:56] Let's start with the customer and I assume that's the are the buyer. I'm putting myself in the shoes of the buyer. OK. All right so. Well and to think about this I think it's good to just step back and put your put yourself in your own shoes as buying something. And the first thing that comes to my mind when I'm buying something is can I trust what it is that I'm buying. Right when I'm on Amazon and I'm scrolling through to buy a product we all look at indicators of what might be trust that may not actually be true. So that the number of stars and the number of reviews or how many purchases for a given product starts to dictate which product we select out of that list. So, one thing I'm worried about especially in a professional relationship. Can I trust this person is actually going to help me? I might also be wondering what type of risk is involved with this project. And as a buyer I know one thing that and this comes from both sides actually but both sides should be interested in it what exactly do I want to accomplish. That is a that is often missed blind spot because the human mind jumps to how with no qualms not even answering the question of why or what. So, it's very easy to just jump over this question that you're talking about because we get excited when we have an idea we move to execution and when we're in execution mode we don't take the time to go back and think about what and why.
[00:10:16] And this comes back to yet another emotional blind spot. Humans are goal oriented. We have a very narrow attention span. There's tons of psychology research in this area and when it comes to what we can focus on we can focus on a couple of different details but we really can't focus on more than one goal at a time. And so, what I've seen is what I've seen is when I become consumed with how I'm going to get something done I'll never go back and consider if it should be done. And then dissonance builds up and we all know this the sunken costs fallacy that is yet another blind spot that once we've invested in something we don't want to question whether or not we should have invested in it. We just want to make it successful so we have I would say if you look at this as a whole we have this bias to jump to how before we answer the question of what or why. And of course, that affects the buyer as well.