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  • Jack Lau

A Bunch of Interesting Stats and a Brain Teaser from Behavioral Economics

Dear Friends:

My apologies for skipping the blog for a while. It has been wild in the past few weeks. While not able to write to you on cyberspace, I did get a chance to meet with many of you and got your inputs on the blog. So, this time, I thought I would try something new just for fun. I just want to show you some numbers plus a couple of comments so we can share more insights quicker.

I suppose I would call this edition the "Do you know these numbers?" :)

So, here we go:

  • 698,000: Drone hobbyists who have registered with the US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)

  • 3: Number of people from Hong Kong who also registered with the US FAA for flying drones

  • 7 million: Number of drones estimated to fly in the United States by 2020

  • US $15.82 Billion: Revenue for Mobile Ad in China in 2015

  • 73%: Share of Mobile Ad through Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent in China

  • 667 Million: Number of Users on Baidu's mobile search

  • 447 Million: Number of Users on Alibaba's mobile

  • 806 Million: Number of Users on Tencent's WeChat

  • 667 Million: Number of Users on Tencent's QQ

  • US$15, $165, $95: Spending on mobile ad per capita in Asia Pacific Countries, United States, and Europe respectively

  • US$15 Billion (US $60 /share): Price Intel pays to buy Israeli Mobileye, a company which probably is going to help Intel into the self- driving car market

  • US$35/share : Share price of Mobileye 3 months ago

And, please don't despair and look too far:

  • HK$56.6/share: Share price of Hong Kong listed Sunny Optical (stock code: 2382) currently

  • HK$34.1/share: Share price of Sunny Optical 3 months ago

Extra Stuff: A Thought Experiment from Behavioral Economics

And just to add a bit of spice to this edition, we want to throw in a brain teaser --- an experiment the behavioral scientists have been conducting. And, hopefully this will help the entrepreneurs who are thinking of marketing a new product or just negotiating a deal.

The experiment:

Guess a number from 0 to 100 with the goal of making your guess as close as possible to two-thirds of the average guess of all those participating in the contest.

For instance, if there are 3 people playing and they guess 20,30, and 40 respectively, the average number would be 30; 2/3 of 30 would be 20. So, the person who guess 20 would win.

This experiment is very interesting and well described by Richard Thaler, an economist from the University of Chicago in his book "The Making of Behavioral Economics". In fact, he ran an experiment on this with the Financial Times a while ago, asking the readers of the Financial Times to submit their guess for a prize. (Sorry, no prize here from this poor blogger.)

Please do think. Trust me. This is a fun one.

Well, when you first look at the problem you would think that the average number of 100 is 50, so 2/3 of 50 is 33. So, you will guess 33.

But if you think harder, you will say, "hmm, everyone is guessing 33 then, so 2/3 of 33 is 22!". And, you will guess 22.

And, wait. You think even harder. You say to yourself, people are quite smart. They probably realize the above logic and would guess 22. And, so if everyone is guessing 22 then it should be 2/3 of that, so it will be 15.

And, this reasoning continues. If you think that everyone is a deep thinker, you would guess 2/3 of 15 and so on and so forth.

Guess what. If you continue this reasoning, then the right answer would be close to zero!!!!

For those of you who are doing a deal or something in marketing, this can be an interesting revelation. Of course, how many people would think of a problem really hard, that is the question too.

Thanks for reading. Have a fantastic day!

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