FF Daily #245: Mirrored reciprocation: A dog’s strategy to be loved

December 3, 2020: Peter Kaufman on multi-disciplinary thinking; Twitter’s battle against misinformation; New playbooks for personal finance; The wages of sin

Founding Fuel

[Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash]

Good morning,

We spent some time yesterday listening to Peter Kaufman deliver a talk on multi-disciplinary thinking. The CEO of Glenair and author of Poor Charlie’s Almanack rarely comes on the record and this one from 2018 was a rare one. Here’s an excerpt from Kaufman’s talk.

“Now I’m going to tell you the strategy that dogs use. The dog is going to be very unhappy with me for telling you this. I’m ratting them out. So when your dog is in the backyard and he goes to the fence between your house and the next house and he talks to the dog next door, I’m going to tell you what he says. No one has ever divulged this before. You’re the first group to hear this. Your dog says to the dog next door, ‘Can you believe how easy it is to manipulate human beings and get them to do whatever you want them to do for you?’ And the dog next door goes, ‘I know it’s a piece of cake.’ And your dog says ‘Yeah. All you have to do is every single time they come home, you greet them at the door with the biggest unconditional show of attention that they’ve ever gotten in their whole life. And you only have to do it for like 15 seconds, and then you can go back to doing whatever you were doing before and completely ignore them for the rest of the evening.’

“However, you do have to do this every single time they come home. And what will the person do? They’ll take care of them. They’ll do anything for this dog. OK? Now do you think that this woman feels she’s being paid attention to? And listened to? And respected? Do you think she’s getting meaning, satisfaction, and fulfillment? Do you think she matters to this dog? And do you think she thinks this dog loves her? And what does the dog get in return? Everything.

“All you have to do, if you want everything in life from everybody else, is first pay attention, listen to them, show them respect, give them meaning, satisfaction, and fulfillment. Convey to them that they matter to you. And show you love them. But you have to go first. And what are you going to get back? Mirrored reciprocation. Right? See how we tie this all together? The world is so damn simple. It’s not complicated at all! Every single person on this planet is looking for the same thing. Now why is it that we don’t act on these very simple things?”

Listening to him speak for 45 minutes was time well invested. If you would much rather read a transcript, you can look it up here

In this issue

  • Twitter’s battle against misinformation
  • New playbooks for personal finance
  • The wages of sin

Twitter’s battle against misinformation

As the farmers' agitation started to gain momentum, on November 28, Amit Malviya, head of BJP’s IT cell, put this tweet out that went viral. Yesterday, however, Twitter rolled out a feature that fact-checks media placed on the platform. This allows it to tag altered or fabricated images with a stamp that says “Manipulated Media”. Malviya’s tweet was among the first that was tagged. 

While it is still being rolled out in India, a blogpost on Twitter in February 2020, ahead of the US presidential elections, announced the company’s plans to combat misinformation. 

The post read: “If we believe that media shared in a Tweet have been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated, we will provide additional context on the Tweet. This means we may:

  • Apply a label to the Tweet;
  • Show a warning to people before they Retweet or like the Tweet;
  • Reduce the visibility of the Tweet on Twitter and/or prevent it from being recommended; and/or
  • Provide additional explanations or clarifications, as available, such as a landing page with more context.

In most cases, we will take all of the above actions on Tweets we label.” 

Dig Deeper

New playbooks for personal finance

One thing we’re clear about at Founding Fuel is that in the post-Covid world we must re-examine our consumption habits and revisit how we manage personal finances. This belief was reinforced by Bloomberg when it examined four influencers from around the world whose views are impacting people’s habits. 

“Plan to keep earning for well beyond 60 years old, for we will live longer” 


Bloomberg’s list includes Monika Halan, whom Founding Fuel had recommended last month. “For India’s burgeoning urban middle classes, Halan is the go-to voice of financial sense. A government adviser, academic and journalist, she’s on a mission to educate and protect the newly affluent retail consumer from a market which—by Western standards—is still very loosely regulated,” Bloomberg writes.

Dig Deeper

The wages of sin

(Via WhatsApp)

Tell us what you think and find noteworthy. Head over to our our Slack channel.

And if you missed previous editions of this newsletter, they’re all archived here.

Bookmark Founding Fuel’s special section on Thriving in Volatile Times. All our stories on how individuals and businesses are responding to the pandemic until now are posted there. 

Warm regards,

Team Founding Fuel

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About the author

Founding Fuel

Founding Fuel aims to create the new playbook of entrepreneurship. Think of us as a hub for entrepreneurs- the go-to place for ideas, insights, practices and wisdom essential to build the enterprise of tomorrow. It is co-founded by veteran journalists Indrajit Gupta and Charles Assisi, along with CS Swaminathan, the former president of Pearson's online learning venture.

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