Giorgio Delgado

The Market For Uniqueness

April 21, 2014

To most people, economics is an unappreciable subject that lies well beyond the realm of practicality. Admittedly, at first glance the concepts do seem somewhat trivial until you really dig deep into the meaning behind the concepts. I've actually already written twice about economic subjects that have tied to reality (link 1, link 2), and there are many books that use economics to simplify the complexity in life (Soccernomics, Freakonomics, and Superfreakonomics to name just a few).

Another interesting economic analogy can be applied to our own personalities.

Consider the typical Supply-Demand function, which depicts the relationship between buyers and sellers in a specific market. This market could be anything. It could be the market for cell-phones, homes, books, and all sorts of stuff you'd expect to be modeled on this framework. But you could explain certain aspects of life, like the reason why we as people can never assimilate with everyone we know, with this model.

Supply Demand Function in a Perfectly Competitive
Market

You could consider your personality as the object in the model and as the product being analyzed. In the market for your personality there is a certain demand for it (which is the summation of each individual's value they place or price they place on your personality) and there is also a certain cost (supply) to it, which could be like trying too hard to impress, being yourself, accumulating knowledge, etc.

The intersection between the two lines is known as the equilibrium and can be pictured as being the perfect balance of being who you are and the amount of people who like you that way.

Increasing your supply (which moves the supply curve to the right) will perhaps make you more likable but you are now less valued. This could be seen as selling yourself out, being a pushover and not angering anyone, etc.

The whole point of this post is that by economic law, you should seize to try and impress everyone. I could go into more detail as to how economics further strengthens this notion but It'd get more complicated than what it already is.

Just be happy with who you are, and fall in love with your inner quirckiness. this uniqueness is the product you are putting out on the market, which may gain a bigger and more loyal following than a generic product that barely satisfies the demands of the market.