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The Doorman Fallacy: A Lesson in Unseen Consequences

Dive into the intriguing world of the Doorman Fallacy, a seemingly sensible cost-saving strategy that might not be as beneficial as it seems at first glance.

The Doorman Fallacy: A Lesson in Unseen Consequences

Ever stumbled upon a strategy that seems like it will save you a ton of hassle and money, only to find out later that it was too good to be true? This is exactly what happens in the Doorman Fallacy. Just like a story with a twist ending, this fallacy shows us that sometimes, what seems like a smart move can actually backfire. Let's dive in and uncover the reality of the Doorman Fallacy, without any complicated jargon!

What is the Doorman Fallacy?

Imagine you own a big, fancy building. To save some bucks, you decide not to hire a doorman. It seems like a reasonable idea, right? But here's the catch: by not having a doorman, you miss out on all the other benefits they bring, like security, assistance, and a friendly face to greet you every day. This is the core of the Doorman Fallacy: overlooking the unseen and unmeasurable benefits of something in an attempt to save costs.

How Does It Happen?

The Doorman Fallacy can creep up in many situations. Here's how it generally goes down:

  • Initial Decision: You spot an area where you think you can save some money, and it seems like a no-brainer to cut costs.
  • Ignored Benefits: You overlook the less obvious, unmeasurable benefits that the cost was covering.
  • Unfortunate Realization: Later, you realize that the strategy didn't work out as planned, and the cost-saving decision has actually caused more harm than good.

Real-life Examples

To give you a clearer picture, let's look at some real-life examples where the Doorman Fallacy might show up:

  • School Budgets: A school decides to cut arts and music programs to save money, but later realizes that students are less engaged and happy without these creative outlets.
  • Business Decisions: A company decides to cut back on employee benefits to save on expenses, but this leads to lower morale and higher turnover rates.

Pros and Cons

The Doorman Fallacy teaches us some important lessons. Let's explore the good and bad sides:


  • Initial Cost Saving: Initially, it seems like a smart move as it appears to save money or resources.
  • Simple Decision Making: Decisions based on clear, measurable factors are often easier to make.


  • Overlooking Unmeasurable Benefits: This fallacy leads to ignoring the unmeasurable benefits that might have a significant impact in the long run.
  • Potential Failure: The strategy often fails to achieve the desired results, sometimes even causing negative outcomes.


The Doorman Fallacy serves as a vital cautionary tale, teaching us to think deeper before making decisions based solely on measurable factors. It encourages us to consider the unseen, yet potentially significant, benefits that might be lost in the process.

So, before making a decision, especially one that seems too good to be true, remember to weigh all the pros and cons carefully. Sometimes, what seems like a saving might actually be a loss in disguise!