False Consensus Effect

False Consensus Effect

May 19, 2023 by investor

False Consensus Effect

The false consensus effect is defined by Wikipedia as the tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which other people agree with them.

Founders sometimes overestimate how others may share their beliefs.

They often mistake silence for consent in talking with investors.

Investors often nod in acknowledgment of what the founder says but this doesn’t mean they agree.

To overcome the false consensus effect, do the following:

Maintain awareness of the false consensus effect and realize not everyone has the same opinion as you.

Consider various viewpoints and how others may approach it from a different angle.

Consider how much your opinions come from your internal beliefs and personality rather than external factors such as the market and your environment.

View your opinions as if you were an independent observer to see how the deal looks based solely on external factors.

Break down your decision process into steps and verify the assumptions behind each one.  

From this, you can determine how others may view your deal.

Finally, this process can also apply to other persons considering your product.


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Hall T Martin is the director of Investor Connect, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the education of investors for early-stage funding. All opinions expressed by Hall and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Investor Connect. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for the basis of investment decisions.