It’s a fact that the majority or the “obvious” is often wrong. During World War II, groups of engineers tried to figure out how to best reinforce airplanes to reduce losses of life and material. For this, a study was conducted about the kind of damage planes showed as they returned to base. The general consensus was that the spots with the holes were the places which needed reinforcement.
The mathematician Abraham Wald objected and argued to reinforce all the other places. If you wonder what’s wrong with this guy, consider this: These were the airplanes that had returned. So the holes must be in places where the plane could sustain some damage. Which means the other, the lost planes must have been hit elsewhere.
When Bill Bartmann founded CFS2, ” a debt-collection company based in Tulsa, OK,” he faced a similar issue. Most debt-collectors threaten their … err … victims? Bill found that a pretty stupid strategy. Why not help the indebted to make money? Like as in enabling them to pay the debt?
As the Wikipedia article states:
Counter-intuitively CFS2 offers a unique array of free services to those they are collecting from, including: employment assistance, credit specialists who negotiate reductions of other personal debt, resume writing, medical discounts and help accessing government assistance.
One of the results: This enables “CFS2 to collect at rates twice the industry average.”
See? Being nice does pay off!