Is it better to be scarce or common?

Post by Demola OG, May 27th, 2008

For some odd reason, whenever something is scarce, it tends to become more attractive. The principle  itself does not make logical sense to me, but that's just how the world operates. Basically, scarcity makes something (whatever it is) become more attractive or valuable and many people tend to want to possess that scarce position, commodity or be associated with that rare person.

On the other hand, when something is common and readily accessible to the masses for FREE or minimal investment, it somehow loses its value. People just take it for granted and see it as normal. Yes, I know its not fair, but suck it up and get used to it. If a commodity or even a human being is readily available at a single request, smallest effort or at the most affordable price consistently (except for Walmart) it is not quite that valuable to the consumer.

So just to re-iterate, whenever a person becomes scarce, they somehow become more valuable. A scarce commodity has more value than a readily available commodity (even basic economics will tell you this). A scarce opportunity is way more attractive than an opportunity that is easily accessible to the masses.

I'll contrast 2 situations. An individual has a choice between:


  1. Earning an MD degree
  2. Geting a forklifting certification

Black
Forklifting

Naturally, it is more attractive to become a medical doctor because it is a scarce degree for most people to complete. It takes about 8 years to become one. Also, organic chemistry 1 and 2 typically filter out the triers from the people who seriously desire to become medical doctors. On the contrary, a forklifting certification only consists of 2 courses; FRK101 and FRK 105 which will probably take the average person 3 months maximum to get the complete. Which of the 2 is more attractive to you, even prior to me mentioning the financial reward that a medical doctor receives after graduation?

Unfortunately, because it more attractive, this does not conclude that it will be easier to achieve. In fact, there will be more obstacles to overcome, more trying times and frustrations. Fortunately, this is where many people QUIT and this act alone allows that scarce ‘thing’ to preserve its scarce nature, because  if everyone gets it, it will then become common.

As an individual, you can use the “scarce” strategy to your advantage. It will continue to make make you stay valuable in business and relationships. Just don’t become too scarce, you might become extinct and people might just forget about you completely.

Is it better to be scarce or common? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

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