Thursday, June 21, 2007

Marketing to Geeks and Dorks

I fashion myself as more of a dork than a geek (I lack the IQ to be a true geek, not that I don't aspire to geekdom). Anyhow, Tyler Cowen, Econ professor at GMU and blogger extradonaiire has a new book out- "Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist". It is obviously riding the freakonomics wave by using the tools of economics (I would expect in this book more theory as opposed to fancy regressions) as applied to everyday life. Mr. Cowen has set up and advertised the existence of a secret blog. To gain access to the secret blog you need to pre-order the book and then email Mr. Cowen @ that you purchased the book and he will send you the site address. He has clearly built an honor system because he doesn't advertise that there is a secret password and his blogs ask all participants to keep the blog postings and such under wraps.

Anyhow, being the massive dork (sometimes douchebag) that I am, I am going to pre-order the book so that I too can read Mr. Cowen's secret blog. More interesting than the fact that I am a dork/douche is the fact that Mr. Cowen has set up this incentive blog that is underpinned by an honor system, namely: that people are honest about their book purchase and they do not release the contents or address of the blog to the public. I am not trying to game the system and gain access to the "secret blog" illegitimately but I wonder how representative I am. It could just be that Mr. Cowen can rely on the honor system as this type of incentive is pretty self-selecting (cool people need not apply_dorks only) and the targeted public (dorks like me) are fairly honest or entirely risk averse.

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