Belief in a Just World, BJW: the fundamental franchising fallacy

July 22, 2010

Want to know the single greatest delusion that creates a misunderstanding of modern franchising?

Much greater than even the confirmation bias?

The Just-world fallacy:

…the tendency for people to believe that the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get.

Winning franchisees attribute their “win” to their goodness, hard work and skill:

If you have this belief, and something good happens to you, you may conclude that the world is just because you are a good person and so good things happen to you.

All franchisees blame the victim franchisee:

In the same way, when you see something bad happen to someone else, you may conclude that they did something to bring on this bad event. Otherwise, it would not have occurred since the world is a just place.

You see it at play every day.

Wikipedia discussion.

Franchising and Google: More is always better, am I right?

July 20, 2010

Franchise sales claims are frequently inflated.So I was wondering:

What franchisee-related websites, weblogs, “communities” get the most Google search Results?

Here is what I found on July 19, 2010.

The Top 10

Rank Franchise Entity Search Term in ” ”
1 IFA 217,000
2 AAHOA 120,000
3 WikiFranchise 96,500
4 Franchise Chat 93,900
5 CFA 72,300
6 Blue MauMau 37,100
7 IAFD 34,700
8 FranchiseFool 27,900
9 Misleading Advertising Law 13,200
10 AAFD 8,240

Happy now Les?

Sure: for what it’s worth…

  1. is #3 (alive for less than 1.5 years) and
  2. is #8 (3.7%) and
  3. together 16.5% (2nd only to the evil International Franchise Association).

Unfortunately, the industry continues to promulgate its long-ago discredited success claims (ie. BP Makes Discredited 90 Percent Claim).

These are the sites that I find interesting. Note that 59% of the sites are non-USA. The greatest translation site on WikidFranchise is Japan.

When high risk is disguised, franchise investors behave more recklessly because they are human beings

June 18, 2010

Perceived risk.

Big Franchising tries to minimize the public’s perceived risk of buying all franchises.


  1. anchor their false legitimacy in “badges of authority” (FTC, banks, trade associations that claim to have a credible Code of Ethics or Ombuds program, justice system, toothless regulation and disclosure laws, government guaranteed loan programs, etc.),
  2. blame the fraud victims for their situation (ad hominem attacks),
  3. goes after military pensions by discounting worthless franchises (VetFran) and
  4. trot out the most blatant franchisee shills imaginable to hype foreign predatory systems.

Potential franchisees respond by buying higher risky offerings to satisfy their pre-existing tolerance for risks (see Target Risk: free online book by Gerald J. S. Wilde)

This is why franchising remains much, much riskier than independent businesses.

And getting riskier.

And without effective safeguards, franchising is Unsafe at any Brand.

Whereas convictions depend on speed-ups, justice requires delay.

June 5, 2010

Who can possibly understand a technology that moves too quickly?

This diagram shows the processes in a 4 stroke engine.

By slowing it down, we can understand it. (1. intake, 2. compression, 3. power and 4. exhaust)

This is precisely what I have tried to do with franchising’s technology at

The only method for perceiving process and pattern is by inventory of effects obtained by the comparison and contrast of developing situations.

Marshall McLuhan 1911-1980

Franchising relies on human learning weaknesses

May 1, 2010

Visual information can be deceiving.

Dan Ariely suggests that humans are predictably bad in making financial decisions.

I believe that is true and explains much of franchising’s cash flow.

Imitation of business is their reality business

April 17, 2010

Franchising is an imitation of a real business.

The art is in the near-perfect staging of reality:

…they presented a more convincing picture of virtue than virtue presented of itself – just as the wax rosebud or the plastic peach seemed more perfect to the eye more what the mind thought a rosebud or a peach should be, than the imperfect original form wich it had been modelled.

William March, The Bad Seed quoted by retired UBC professor Robert Hare in his best book, Without Conscience Imitation Of Life, R.E.M. Charades, pop skill Water hyacinth, named by a poet Imitation of life. Like a koi in a frozen pond. Like a goldfish in a bowl. I don’t want to hear you cry. That’s sugarcane that tasted good. That’s cinnamon, that’s Hollywood. C’mon, c’mon no one can see you try. You want the greatest thing The greatest thing since bread came sliced. You’ve got it all, you’ve got it sized. Like a Friday fashion show teenager Freezing in the corner Trying to look like you don’t try. That’s sugarcane that tasted good. That’s cinnamon, that’s Hollywood. C’mon, c’mon no one can see you try. No one can see you cry. That sugar cane that tasted good. That freezing rain, that’s what you could. C’mon, c’mon on no one can see you cry. This sugarcane This lemonade This hurricane, I’m not afraid. C’mon, c’mon no one can see you cry. This lightning storm This tidal wave This avalanche, I’m not afraid. C’mon, c’mon no one can see me cry. That sugar cane that tasted good. That’s who you are, that’s what you could. C’mon, c’mon on no one can see you cry. That sugar cane that tasted good. That’s who you are, that’s what you could. C’mon, c’mon on no one can see you cry.

Social proof: “Fitting in” as a franchisee serves somebody’s interests

April 7, 2010

Behaviour is influenced much more that that we commonly think.

Bob Cialdini suggests a very useful model in his Science of Persuasion.

Social proof is a central one used in franchising. What our peers believe to be true is very persuasive to us.

Social proof:

a psychological  phenomenon that occurs in ambiguous social situations when people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior. Making the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation, they will deem the behavior of others as appropriate or better informed. Wikidpedia

“Normal” in franchising is initially set by the franchisor for their newbie.

Another “Weapon of Influence” (authority) helps the franchisor orient the new franchisee to a subservient, look-to-Big-Daddy mentality.

However, this new “normal” is eroded as franchisees become more experienced. It all seems to go one way.

Sharing information between peer franchisees defuses the power of social proof and authority as behaviour-modifying techniques. is my gift to franchisees

February 11, 2010

Godin makes several good points about gifts:

When done properly, gifts work like nothing else. A gift gladly accepted changes everything. The imbalance creates motion, motion that pushes us to a new equilibrium, motion that creates connection.

The key is that the gift must be freely and gladly accepted. Sending someone a gift over the transom isn’t a gift, it’s marketing. Gifts have to be truly given, not given in anticipation of a repayment. True gifts are part of being in a community (willingly paying taxes for a school you will never again send your grown kids to) and part of being an artist (because the giving motivates you to do ever better work).

John and I created, coming up to 1 year now. I archived the stories as a witness to franchisees’ lives.  We don’t take it personally that it has been almost largely shunned publicly. That’s consistent with my personal experience since 1998.

We didn’t have to do it and nobody has to read it either. But those that have, have been changed, I think, a little bit anyways. And it’s robust enough to handle a lot of extra eyeballs.

The imbalance between giver, receiver, and observer (powerful/less) is a just a byproduct of franchisees’ lives. That’s were the power of comes from: life stories.

What do franchisees fear the most?

February 11, 2010

Other than death, themselves.

Franchising is a technology that changes personalities (identities), oftentimes for the worse.

The anger is turned inward because you (perceive) you freely invited this type of identity thief into your own home. Everyone’s grand play of your life is about gaining and losing identity: dying and being reborn repeatedly.

Don’t trust me and certainly don’t listen to the 1,001 squawking parrots in your lizard brain anymore.

Ask your partner, dummy.

Advisory councils help process franchisees

February 8, 2010

Cows are stunned in slaughterhouses before they are killed.

Meat quality is retained and there is “less fuss”.

Don’t trust me: Trust yourself.

You can look it up.

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