A classic example of the pitfalls of asymmetric information–when one person knows more than another–is the blind date. You get set up by a friend with a perfect stranger, someone your friend swears is perfect for you, and when you finally meet for dinner at the hot new vegan spot in town (his choice), he asks you nothing about yourself and talks only about his newly-formed Lynard Skynard cover band.
Once in a blue moon, you get lucky. You start out as strangers but you quickly learn some things you like about each other, and you learn more on your next date, and on the one after that. Fast forward a couple of years and that blind date is now your spouse.
I was set up with my husband by a mutual friend who said Nivi was “cool,” a “nice guy” and “a little shy.” Apparently, this friend sold me as a “girl who likes to party.”
The next blind date I went on was years later, with Jenny Anderson, who would become my co-author-slash-platonic wife on Spousonomics. We were set up by Charles Duhigg. I still don’t know how Charlie described me to Jenny, just what he told me about her: “a badass Wall Street reporter who’s obsessed with her marriage.” Sounded like a girl I needed to meet.
Here’s the first email I got from Jenny. See if you can tell what information she was trying to convey:
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2008 2:40 PM
To: Szuchman, Paula