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Philosophical Chicken Logic

The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life, at last, wrings its neck instead, shows that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken.

Bertrand Russell, The Problems of PhilosophyCan you really base decisions on the past? This “problem of induction” refers to the philosophical challenge of drawing general conclusions based on limited anecdotes.

For example, when setting a pricing structure for a new service, we have no idea what could be seen as a good, reassuringly expensive price by a client type. Often the only data that we have is a murky hodgepodge of other people’s anecdotes, and maybe our own experience from the time when our service was significantly less developed and valuable than it is now.

And people

The same problem occurs when inflation hits, and we know we should adjust our pricing, but don’t know by how much. Or when we decide to create distinct pricing tiers for a service that is sometimes profitable, but also disastrously unprofitable in other circumstances.

There is no single answer to this, but stay flexible. It’s not unprofessional for one surgery to cost more than the next one because even if the service was the same, the patients weren’t.

There is no good reason to charge new clients the same as the old – just because a price served you well in the past, doesn’t mean it will do so in the future.

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