WHAT IS PREDATORY THINKING?
Spinal Tap is a mock documentary about a heavy metal band.
In the film, the guitarist explains to a reporter why they are better than other bands.
They are louder.
He shows the reporter the controls on their amplifier.
He says “Look man, normal amps only go to 10. These go up to 11.”
The reporter asks why they don’t just mark the loudest part as 10.
The guitarist looks confused.
He says “No man you don’t get it. Normal amps only go up to 10. These go further, they go to 11.”
We laugh because the guitarist doesn’t get it.
Being a rock star, he’s taken so many drugs his brain is fried.
He doesn’t get that adding another number to it, doesn’t actually make it any louder.
The loudest is the loudest.
100% is 100%.
That’s all there is, there isn’t any more.
We think he’s a dope for not seeing that.
Then we carry on and live our lives exactly the same way he does.
We live as if 100% isn’t all there is.
That’s why we say we’re “going to give 110%”.
This is self-delusion.
And this is why we are unsuccessful.
We act as if new stuff can come out of thin air.
If we make a new product, new consumers will magically appear.
If we put more information in an ad, new space will somehow be created.
If we want something badly enough, it will somehow happen.
New stuff will appear.
If we write 11 on the amplifier it will become louder.
But it won’t.
Because all there ever is, is 100%
That’s what a zero sum game is.
No new stuff can appear.
You can certainly get whatever it is you want.
But you can’t get it out of thin air.
If you want it, you have to take it from somewhere else.
If you want new consumers, you have to take them from someone else.
If you want space to put more information in an ad, you must make everything else smaller, or take something else out.
If you want the amplifier to sound louder, you must make everything around it quieter.
All there ever is, is 100%.
All you can ever do is take some of that 100%.
Which means, in order for you to have more, someone else is going to have to have less.
Sorry, that’s the way it is.
That’s how the world works.
Everything lives off something else.
Bigger animals feed off smaller animals.
Smaller animals feed of insects.
Insects feed off plants.
Plants feed off whatever they feed off.
Everything feeds off something else.
As Adam Morgan said, it’s a knife fight in a phone box.
And the people who don’t want to admit that are the ones who fail.
The people who don’t want to use their brains.
Who are too lazy or too frightened to think.
They become the prey.
Because they act as if they don’t need to identify where their share is coming from.
So they just wait for it to appear from out of nowhere.
Oblivious to the fact that they are deluding themselves.
Writing the number 11 on the amplifier.