Denominator Neglect

2020 had been quite unpleasantly surprising by far. Not getting into the detailing and sticking to the genre of the site, one of the emergent trends is DFH (Date from Home). All the dating apps are trying to cash in on it by introducing features like video calling, picture sharing, etc. But there is one major flaw in that approach, for basic chemicals of love (oxytocin and more importantly dopamine), you need in-person interactions. So all these chats and video calls are a good way to kill boredom, but have quite a low LTV. That is why a landing page is more necessary now as no one in the whole world knows how long this pandemic situation prevails.

Delhi Heights

So, recently I was at the place in every Indian parent’s dreams, a civil servant’s home. Just to clarify it was a date with an IPS officer’s daughter at their place while her dad was away. Situated on the top floor of a high-rise tower in Delhi, the view of the entire city in the night from the glass walls was just bewitching. It makes one realize how minuscule personal concerns and worries are in comparison to the bigger scheme of things.

Coming to her, she is one of the few women who looks better in person than in her photos. Otherwise, these days with technology and filters the majority of girls look like the next Mona Lisa in pictures. Her first glimpse was in a chic brown Burberry dress, matching with her wedges, rimmed glasses, and even the hairstreaks. I later even pointed to her how the flooring, furniture, and even the air conditioners were of the same color palette. Funnily though, she was wearing a face mask when she opened the door, so it was definitely memorable. We had a lot in common, and time in her company just flew with the wind in her room’s balcony overlooking the capital. She is running her own venture in the medical devices space. Lived in Delhi for the majority of her life, the snobbishness was quite visible especially when she mentioned the brand of her ‘Stanley’ sofa. But, it seemed cute, especially with her puerile smile.

Anyway coming to the MBA concept of ‘Denominator Neglect‘. It is focusing on relative frequencies of numerators, paying attention to numerators (number of times an event has happened), and inadequate attention to denominators (overall number of opportunities for an event to happen).

I still remember during my brand marketing stint with Mondelez, we ran a scratch and win a year’s supply of Cadbury Silk contest as an activation campaign.

Marketers on a mass scale highlight the winners to prompt more sales but at the same time astutely leave out the minuscule percentage of the number of units with the winning code.

In fact, the Indian media industry is majorly exploiting denominator neglect, where they single out a particular case/individual for more TRPs while conveniently overlooking the macroscopic issues.

Denominator neglect has widespread applications in the context of modern-day dating. Another phrase for it is, ‘ plenty of fish in the sea‘. You’ll meet around eighty thousand people in your life out of the more than seven billion there in this world. ‘Your time in this world is limited, the people aren’t‘. Denominator neglect is the biggest reason for numerous individuals spending years in miserable relationships due to sunk cost fallacy. It is also a big cause that so many bear the unreasonable lead time of their ‘crushes’ to finally see them go with someone else.

Just a couple of pointers,

Firstly identify your TG and USP, knowledge of self is the highest form of knowledge.

Secondly, age demographics play a big role, especially for men. Also, these are in the context of India, for the western countries, you can add five years as a rule of thumb.

A considerable number of girls from late teens to mid-twenties spend the majority of their leisure time battling macroscopic issues (patriarchy, government, misogyny, etc.) where they have little to no control. The remaining few have belief in the Cinderella story of Prince Charming.

Mid-twenties to the early thirties go in microscopic issues and societal pressure of ‘settling down’. Most potential dates are looked at as tags (educational pedigree, well-paying profession, plush lifestyle) they bring to the table and whether those tags are worth a lifetime commitment.

Women in the early thirties to late thirties on dates are in a fading hope of a happily ever after, in most cases for the second time around.

Also, practicality is directly and lead time is inversely proportional to age.

They may not be applicable to each and every case but archetyping always helps. By the age of 40, you’ll meet every person who is there in this world. You’ll either meet the person or their archetype (KF4D). There is no point in wasting your time crying over your crush/ex. There are countless like him/her.

That brings me to the ‘Stanley’ sofa date. So is this it? Have all the dates in Delhi in the past years finally led me to the actual view? Is she the policing my life needed? Well, I have a no engineer/ Indian MBA policy when it comes to dating. They propagate binary thinking, have skewed gender dynamics, and have too much similarity with my backdrop. So the whole point of dating is an escape from my mainstream life is nulled. Although she did her Masters from an Ivy League school, she is an engineer that too from one of the top colleges in India. Also, her place is in the other corner of the city and she stays with her mother so the landing page might become a bottleneck in the future. Despite the fact that the conversation with her was quite stimulating and full of laughs, we had to bid goodbye. By the way, I don’t know whether her bed was of Stanley, but it was equally warm and comforting that night, especially with her cuddled up by in my arms and the heavenly view of the entire city through the glass wall.



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