When I came up with the idea for this essay, I was actually surprised that I hadn’t written it before because the idea of a value proposition is so central to Gendernomics. Investopedia defines a value proposition in the following manner:
“A value proposition refers to the value a company promises to deliver to customers should they choose to buy their product. A value proposition is also a declaration of intent or a statement that introduces a company’s brand to consumers by telling them what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business.
A value proposition can be presented as a business or marketing statement that a company uses to summarize why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. This statement, if worded compellingly, convinces a potential consumer that one particular product or service the company offers will add more value or better solve a problem for them than other similar offerings will.” 
When we interact with other people, or move about our daily lives, we are constantly being inundated by various value offerings and propositions from companies and other people, some of these are on point, some of these are exaggerated, but the shared characteristic of all of them is that an exchange is being proposed. You give them something, and they’ll give you something in return. What determines if you engage in a trade is whether you consider the price being asked is smaller than the value being delivered.
To clarify the former statement, if I have $5 and you have a sandwich that you want to sell to me, in order for the transaction to take place, I will have to value the sandwich as being worth $5 or more, and you have to value the $5 as being of equal value or higher value than your sandwich. If both of us make the judgment that we prefer what we already have, then no trade can take place. This is Ludwig Von Mises subjective value theory in practice. When someone buys a $487 course, then they value that course at $487 or higher, and they expect to be able to get more value out of it than they paid.
The accuracy of their judgment being the determinant of the outcome. If you consider paying a personal trainer $200 in hour, you expect to get results that deliver equal or higher value in order to justify your investment. It’s basic what is the cost of investment and what is the return on the investment?
Value Propositions in Life
As mentioned, we are constantly assaulted by value propositions as we go through our day to day lives. Whether this be the intrusive street salesman, the course seller, the “life coach”, or countless others that are making sales pitches to us on a constant basis. Developing good, and sound judgment when it comes to making accurate judgments of the value offered vs. the value asked is a central skill that all men must develop. This was the reason why I never went really hard after what I viewed (and still view) as poor value propositions aimed at vulnerable men within this space, because when the men go into real life they need to develop the skill to discern that for themselves, instead of trusting someone else to do it for them.
Quite frankly, most men need to walk through a Turkish bazar a few times to get used to saying no, haggling and dealing with pushy unscrupulous salesmen. So, I suppose this is where I tell you how to judge value propositions when they pop up. I tend to rely on a few different points:
A) What is the cost to me?
B) What is the value I’m being offered in exchange for incurring the cost?
C) What is the risk I have to deal with?
D) What is the opportunity cost?
These four questions will help nail down the reality of a value proposition.
A) The cost deals with the required investment on my end, accurately identifying this helps me to see the opportunity cost of a given action, and thus I can get into alternative ways to invest or utilize this cash. An easy illustration of this is if I’m offered to buy into a company at a given valuation, I could invest that money into alternative investments, so at that point it’s how much am I paying per share.
B) The value proposition, deals with what I can expect in terms of a return on my money, this identifies what I’m getting out of the investment. For instance, if I buy X shares for Y money, what dividends can I expect, what appreciation of the security can I expect and so on.
The opportunity cost represents the value generated by the best alternative foregone, for instance you could have put the $487 you spent on that course into an investment, or used it to buy something you want.
Finally, the risk represents the probability that something will interfere with my expected return. For a bond the return is fixed, so there is no risk. For a shares in a company, there is always a risk that something will happen that results in my return being less than expected. If the investment is in a blue chip (large, stable, mature enterprise) then there will be less risk than investing in a start-up. This different risk vs. reward ratio, means that since there is more risk associated with the start-up, the potential return should be greater.
Value Propositions and the Sexual Market Place
When we talk about “leagues” in the sexual market place, this is a judgment of our own value relative to that of another person. When one says that “She’s out of my league” what one has really done is make a judgment about one’s own value proposition (What can I offer) vs. the other person’s value proposition (What do they offer) and one has found oneself to be wanting. When I advocate that men should increase their value, this is a statement to the fact that they need to improve their value proposition in order to attain the dating success they desire.
Everyone hates getting a bad deal, and this is in essence what hypergamy breaks down to, a woman will always be very aware of the deal she made, and whether it was a good or bad deal. This is understandable, in nature a woman who is impregnated by a man who is a poor value proposition takes on great risk in becoming pregnant by him. Pregnant women are both vulnerable during the pregnancy, there are many pregnancy related illnesses, and child birth in nature poses a grave risk to a woman’s life. She wants that risk to be compensated for by higher value. The mental firmware of women is still adapted to a world in which modern medicine has not reduced pregnancy related risk, nor provided contraception.
Plus, there is the human thing about not wanting to feel like you were taken for a fool and cheated.
When we make statements such as “Women break rules for alpha men, and make rules for beta men” what this refers to is the fact that a woman is willing to neglect rules for a great value proposition, but will impose rules to improve a poorer value proposition. With the poorer value proposition, she’ll think along the lines of, “Ok, I can keep him around to get X and Y, but it’s going to be purely on my terms and he has to cater to me“. Whereas with the great value proposition, she is desperate to make a deal and willing to do virtually anything to make that deal happen.
We can even speak in terms of commitment and the adage that “Women will rather share one high value man than be stuck with a low value man“, in this case it demonstrates a value proposition so great, and so in excess of the woman’s self-perceived value, that she’ll rather have 5% of a million dollars over 100% of $20K.
It’s also readily apparent in the men who DM myself and quite a few other notable figures in this space asking questions like:
“Hey man, I met this great girl, she’s 5 years older than me and has a kid, but she’s really great in bed, really nice and I want her to move in with me, can I do it?”
“Hey, I’ve been seeing a girl for 5 years, her parents are pushing me to marry her, is it OK?”
These men know that they are being offered a poor proposition, so they are asking someone they perceive as an authority for permission to do what they know is probably a bad idea.
Summary and Conclusions
The biggest issue when you are trying to make an accurate estimation of a value proposition is that much of the time there are a lot of intangible aspects that you need to consider. Corporate value propositions are quite simply because the two elements cost and return can be estimated with some degree of accuracy.
In personal relationships on the other hand, the overriding factor is always going to be intangible, be it ego-investment or choice criteria. It becomes very difficult to compare one girl with another, especially for a longer-term investment simply because you do have to consider more intangible assets (personality, value added etc) on top of her appearance. For a one-night stand it’s easy:
- Is she hot enough
- Is she up for it
Those are the only two evaluation criteria you need. However, then there are those value propositions where there is an objective cost to you, and where the return is entirely intangible. Charity work is one such case, doing the work has a definite cost to you in terms of either hours spent or resources donated, yet the return is recognition, and good feelings.
Value propositions are everywhere, and when you run a fairly large account on the internet within any space, you can expect to get emails or DMs wanting you to get involved in something. Whether that is affiliate marketing deals, joint-ventures, cooperative models or various other value propositions. I tend to reject most of these because it’s very rare that you’re going to be offered a value proposition that offers sufficient value for the work you will be expected to put in. Unfortunately, reality is such that most people are looking out for number one, you should as well.
The sad thing is, that much of the time in this space, and in the real world, you have the equivalent of the guy who approaches a successful man and asks him to take on the role of mentor. Being a mentor is long-term time investment, and while it’s largely done for intangible reasons, a man of value will always seek to avoid poor investments. No man of value is going to mentor a loser. No woman of value is going to sleep with or date a man of lesser value.
No sensible person is going to deal with people who do not demonstrate how they will bring value to them. Take your value proposition in any context, and view it from the perspective of the person you are presenting it to, would you accept in their position, and why?
Most of the time for me, it’s a case of “Yeah, I get how I bring you value, but how are you bringing me value?”