The thing that matters most: do not lose money
Ask anyone who is good at making money--or better yet, ask people considered to be the best, people like Warren Buffett and Tony Robbins--and they will tell you that the number one thing you must is: do not lose money. This is so for two reasons.
First, for most people, the primary function of how much money they can make is time. If we are talking about a stock investment, then we mean time for the value of your investment to compound. If we are talking about wages, then it is easy to see that the core of your ability to earn a paycheck is the time you are willing and able to trade for it (with the added force multiplier of your particular expertise, of course). The common thread--the limiting factor--is time.
So to say that the most important financial thing you can do for yourself is to not lose money, you are really just respecting the non-renewable nature of time. Once you lose it, you cannot get it back. And the only way to recover the money you lost is to trade-in even more time.
Second, it is really just a mathematical formula. If you have some amount of money, and you lose 50% of it, then you now have to increase what you have left by 100% just to get back to where you are. So the proportions of work required achieve tomorrow what you lost today are simply not in your favor.
But every time you spend money to buy something--is that a loss?
It depends. Did you get what you paid for? If you did, then no, excepting any commentary on whether the thing you purchased was a good use of money, we can simply say that..
- if you expected to get X
- when you purchased X
- and you in fact received X
This principle is as true for a $12 loss as it is for a $1,200 loss
Elon Musk is famous for his adherence to first principles (as opposed to analogies or cost-benefit analyses). This is what underlies his boldness. When Musk cashed out of Paypal, he had enough money to then "play defense" for the rest of his life, taking no unnecessary chances to guard his fortune against loss. A simple cost-benefit analysis would have probably told him that defense was the smart play. But instead, Musk consulted his first principles:
“I think it is important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. [When reasoning by analogy] we are doing this because it’s like something else that was done or it is like what other people are doing — slight iterations on a theme.
First principles is kind of a physics way of looking at the world. You boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, “What are we sure is true?” … and then reason up from there.
This is what led Musk to bet it all, once again. He looked at the barriers heretofore around energy and space travel; he ignored what everyone else accepted to be insurmountable obstacles; and he distilled the challenges in both areas down to material and material cost problems; then he devised a plan to solve them.
The point of Elon Musk's story here is that the economics of refunds are like the business challenges Musk surveyed: there is a certain way things have always been done, but that is not how it always has to be. One only needs to distill the challenge down to its elemental parts and solve for each part one a time.
That is what led to Veeto. We looked at the problem of spending money for X and then not getting X, and then not being able to justify the economics of pressing your legitimate claim to a refund. What we saw was that, below a certain dollar amount, most people were just accepting the loss of not getting a refund. The cost-benefit analysis told them that a $12 refund was not worth the effort of asking for it from a seller who would likely not make it easy to ask. The element we zeroed in on, therefore, was that cost of demand, the amount of time and/or money it takes to get a legal demand from your head and heart to the desk of the seller who took your money but failed to give you what you paid for, the seller who now should give you a refund, but is expecting that you will not even ask.
We think our membership model solves this problem by making it push-button simple to make a legal demand, and by making the incremental cost of using your veeto power $0.
Based on thousands of Veeto reviews, here are the top 7 ways people use their veeto power
- To get out of unwanted office leases.
- To get out of unwanted apartment/home leases.
- To get out of cell phone contracts or internet contracts.
- To get refunds for web-based services that do not match what was advertised.
- To get refunds for auto-enrolled or auto-renewed software contracts.
- To get out of auto leases.
- To get refunds for faulty products with warranties sellers try to not honor.
And to speak to our organizing thesis, the amount of money at stake across these seven categories ranges from $45 million to $3 in a single case. No attorney can touch that range. Nor does anything like this exist. The idea of veto power has been around forever. But the thing that Veeto is changing is who has that veeto power. We think it should be you.