The Earnest Bonus - today's differentiator

Updated: May 19

What is Earnest Bonus?

Everyone seems to be busy with products or services solving real-life problems. That's great! But how to stand out amongst competitors? Earnest Bonus is the competitive edge that you will gain if you do everything more dedicatedly, sincerely, and attentively. Sometimes, just a little bit more.


Earnest Bonus is a concept Professor. He Fan (Economist, Professor of Economics at Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University) coined in his 2020 book "The Variables 2 - Deduction of China's Basic Economy" (The original words are: 苟且红利) This is the second book of Professor. He's ambitious 30 book series plan.


In this book, professor He and his team wrote what is really happening in China today. They had travelled to over 30 cities, interviewed over 200 people from all walks of life, in 2019. From this book, you can learn what the real China and the Chinese economy is through real-life stories.


Understand Earnest Bonus from a story

This is a story shared by Mr Luo Zhengyu (founder of 得到 App) during his yearly New Year's speech - an event that influences millions of Chinese shapers.


This story is about how a Didi driver sets himself apart from millions of his competitors by doing two simple things differently to claim his Earnest Bonus. (DiDi is a Chinese equivalent of Uber. It is one of the most popular apps in China nowadays.)


For a usual DiDi trip, at the destination, just before you step out of the car, the DiDi driver will remind you to give a 5-star review to this trip. It is crucial to collect as many 5-star reviews as possible. More 5-start reviews mean more business. Unfortunately, DiDi drivers don't always receive reviews. Why is that? Surely, everyone understands the importance of giving the review. It is not that users deliberately or conveniently forget to do so. They genuinely forgot to do so because they are quickly occupied by many other things the moment they stepped out of the car. Be it meeting a friend, looking for the meeting location, preparing for a business presentation, etc.


So, what exactly does this Earnest DiDi driver do differently?


Only two simple things

  1. He concludes the trip about 2 to 3 minutes before reaching the destination.

  2. He explains to the passenger courteously: "I concluded the trip a bit earlier to save you some coins. Can you please give me a 5-star review, right now?"

This is the moment when the passengers still "stuck" in the car. They are not yet distracted by the world out there. It is a far better moment to reflect on the trip and give the review. Plus, the DiDi driver makes the trip a bit cheaper, no reason at all not to give a 5-star review, right?


As a result, this DiDi driver receives far more 5-star reviews than many many many of his competitors. He would much more likely to be the first choice of your next trip. This is how a DiDi driver claims his Earnest Bonus.


How would you claim your Earnest Bonus?

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