A multiplier is a very simple concept, it’s an added variable that either serves to increase or decrease a given value. When you benchmark between industries it’s not uncommon to establish revenue multipliers for mergers and acquisitions, for instance the purchase value in one industry may be x4 of revenue, and in another x12 of revenue. This is normally done by analyzing previous deals in the same industry, establishing a “normal” multiplier and then applying that to the present deal, with or without modifications. If there is a large discrepancy in market capitalization for the two, or growth estimates are vastly different, then adjustments may be made, if the companies are very similar, they may not.
Perhaps the multiplier that most will be familiar with is marketing. Now marketing in and of itself does not create tangible product value, for instance an Iphone does not get objectively better because it comes in a nice box. However, the nice box helps it appear higher value and quality due to playing with our perception. The bottle- and logo design of Coca Cola does not make the drink more refreshing, more healthy, or a host of other concrete product variables, however it does make it stand out on the shelf.
In a recent tweet, I wrote:
Game is a value multiplier, not a value creator, treat accordingly.
The reasoning behind this is quite simple, and comes from my analysis of the early seduction community argument that “only game matters”, summarized as, “one need not concern oneself with becoming interesting, dressing better, developing the right mindset, going to the gym or a myriad of other avenues of self-improvement, just buy whatever product I’m selling and you will become successful with women”. Perhaps the most obvious example of the flaws in this methodology was the program “The Pick-Up Artist” that aired on VH-1 some years ago, where it rapidly became clear that even personal coaching and training from Mystery in his methods, failed to improve those men who had the lowest value, much if at all. Those who did indeed become successful, were those men who were the male “She’s all that” versions, guys who were average or above average value, but who failed to display that value in some regard.
Positive and Negative Multipliers
I suspect that everyone reading this are aware of the various interesting dichotomies in intersexual interactions. Some men are deemed “creepy” when doing things that would be considered sexy if a higher value man did them. The line between sexual harassment and enjoyable flirting in the workplace for instance, is dependent on whether the receiver of the attention enjoys the attention or not. Likewise, certain staples of game have differing effects depending on the receiver and sender of these messages. The most obvious example being using “negs” against low-value women.
Perhaps one of the most famous ratios within finance is the price-earnings ratio, that has been utilized in valuations for decades. A company selling at a high multiple of earnings is expected to grow it’s earnings quite substantially, this is often seen in technology companies where rapid and extensive growth is expected to take place. A company selling at a low multiple of earnings is expected to grow at a slower rate or even in some cases decline.
A positive multiplier serves to increase the value of the object, for instance a company with $1m in revenue at an x4 multiplier means a take-over price of $4m. The fact that an Aston Martin was used in a James Bond movie increases the price of the car not due to the car itself but due to its history. The highlighted uniqueness of the car itself acts as a differentiating factor, which permits the owner to access alternative markets with his product.
A negative multiplier does the opposite of a positive one in that it serves to reduce the value of an object, sometimes quite drastically. A company facing insolvency, legal problems or rapidly increasing competition for instance, may face a negative multiplier, and thus may sell at less than revenue or book value. The fact that a horrendous triple-murder took place in a house reduces the price of that house as a result of the history, not the state of the house itself. In this case, what makes the house unique, acts as a factor of differentiation, but a negative one, which results in the owner not being able to obtain the maximal market value for the property.
Game as a Value Multiplier
If one for a moment assumed that an objective sexual market value could be obtained for every man and woman in a market where arbitrage opportunities were eliminated, in a world where no “game” existed. One would expect that market to behave as the current one, just a bit more overtly. If one assumes that no multipliers exist, the only manner in which a man could improve his value was to engage in self-improvement, or as I prefer to look at it product engineering.
Product engineering is the process by which the characteristics of a product is altered through an iterative process often consisting of the rough phases design, prototyping, testing, analysis and redesign. The design process is a bit different with each company, but in general a niche in the market is identified, desirable product characteristics are identified and one then designs the blueprints for a prototype. This prototype is then tested, after which the results of the tests are analyzed, and included in the redesign phase, which is then followed by more testing and analysis until one is satisfied with the product.
However, to view the world with these artificially created caveats, does not give the whole picture. If one has the best product in the world, it matters little if no customers are aware that the product exists or are not made aware of the salient characteristics of said product. For this one requires marketing.
Once a product has been created, the role of marketing becomes central. Market information was always a part of the product engineering process to some extent, for instance by identifying gaps in the market, establishing the rough price-points of the end product, analyzing the market factors and many others. However, once the finished product is ready, marketing begins to figure out how to position the new product, how to communicate the benefits of the product, how to communicate why the customer should buy this product over others and many other central communication tasks. This is the role of game in this model.
If one takes a very simplified model for a cold-open for instance, the opener is there to create an opportunity to present the product to the customer. Once an opener is successful a certain level of investment must be created in the customer prior to engaging fully in the product pitch, and once the customer is invested one can attempt to close the sale. A highly attractive product requires less investment and work by the salesman, a bad product requires a much higher level of investment for each sale. However, the latter also requires a more competent salesman than the former.
I’ve known men of high value that despite their high value constantly failed to maximize their sexual market value transactions, and men of lower value who in-spite of it maximized their sexual market transactions. The major differentiating factor between the two came in the form of marketing, or “game”. Game permitted the latter group of men to present their value to more customers, get more customers invested and close more sales, where for the former group their lack of game meant fewer opportunities to present their value, an inability to generate interest and thus fewer closes.
Therefore game acting a multiplier of value, if one assumes sexual market value follows a normal distribution pattern, and the multiplier is static. A man with an SMV of 2 with a 1,5 multiplier for game will gain an additional SMV point from game, a man with an SMV of 5 will gain an additional 2,5 points, a man with an SMV of 10, will gain a full 5 points. However, this appears to be flawed, as nobody can be above 10, thus it is likely that the higher a man’s “product value” the less marketing is required and the less useful marketing becomes. Thus one could argue that diminishing returns apply to game, in that it offers a larger multiplier the closer you are to the mean of the sexual market value graph, and smaller benefits if your sexual market place is one of the tails.
Summary and Conclusion
This post is not intended as a denigration of game. Game is a fundamental skill that any man should be competent at, and that offers benefits not only in the sexual market place but in life in general. The ability to sell yourself in a job interview, the ability to sell product or services, and to present yourself in the best possible light will always ensure that you maximize the value of whatever product you are offering. However, the best sales and marketing techniques will do little if you are attempting to sell cold drinks in Antarctica or feminist research methodology to a group of competent scientists. Likewise the claims made that a single thing can rectify a complex problem is one often associated with those who seek to exploit their customer.
The idea of game acting not as a value creation or a product characteristic itself, but as a combined multiplier of existing product value is an interesting one to me, because one of the major differences between the sexes, is that men are the engineers of humanity, women are the marketers. As children men are encouraged to develop the abilities that make us into the appliances of humanity, problem-solving, deductive reasoning, “facts about things” style of communication, and our ability to “do”. Women on the other hand, are trained in impression management, communication, self-presentation and covert communication.
Thus, one could argue that men in the sexual market place experience problems in one out of two major areas, one being the ability to highlight and present their value in a manner which is conducive to their goals, which is what game can rectify, the other being their value in and of itself. A man who is very skilled at the former can make a mountain out of a mole-hill, in the sense that a male 4 with game, will have a higher value multiplier and thus may be able to hit above his weight, and have more success in the sexual market place. A man who has a higher value, yet is completely oblivious to game will experience that any success is largely due to factors outside of his control.
Now obviously, there are outliers, a man with an SMV of 9 – 10 is going to experience quite a bit of success even without any game, and a man with an SMV of 1 could have fantastic game and yet experience very little success. This is merely due to a marketing observation, that if you make a fantastic product it tends to require little marketing to perform quite well. If you make a crappy product, it will require a lot of marketing to perform in a mediocre manner, finally if you make a mediocre product it will require a lot of marketing to perform well.
If one imagines game in isolation as a set of behavioral and social methods that one can apply to the sales of products, it becomes obvious that without the product, one does not need game. However, once one has the product, game becomes needed, because game as a product is a means to an end. Game is the means by which you present your value proposition in order to realize the maximum volume and price for your product, without it, you may obtain sales, but you will not reach the maximum volume of sales at the maximum price. With game and a bad product you may realize a higher volume or a higher price for your product, despite the issues with underlying product quality.