“Value” of Numbers

First impressions are driven by digits.

Things that are perceived to be of value are generally composed of both qualitative and quantitative elements. While we (humans) often seek to understand both factors when coming to a decision or forming an opinion, I’ve found that our first impressions often skew towards the latter; numbers. That first impression can also establish our long-term perception of value for better or for worse.

Jim makes $500,000 a year. He works 60 hour weeks and spends less time than he'd like with his family. Jim gets an offer to work at a different company for $300,000 a year but only needs to dedicate 30 hours a week to get the job done.

A lot of Jim's former peers immediately consider this a huge paycut, but for Jim, this is the best pay raise he's ever gotten. Jim works so his family can live a great life. His new job (for him) has far more value than the former one despite what the numbers say.

Numbers are just representations of values, they themselves aren't the value.