Muffins and Psychology

I was visiting San Francisco and heard about a place called Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. It’s a tiny bakery that makes “cruffins” – a cross between a croissant and a muffin. So, I walked from my hotel to investigate.

As I’d been told, there was a line of people a block long waiting to buy an overpriced muffin. I estimate the wait was probably something like 30-40 minutes.


So, this raises a few questions. Why would people wait for so long for a muffin? There must be a lot of psychology going on – the subjective value of the muffins is high because they’re hard to get, and part of the value is the social aspect of waiting in line with people who are somehow like you, and there’s an element of competition where people who get a muffin have “won” in some sense.

Another question is, why doesn’t someone open another shop across the street? I can think of several reasons – but primarily it’s likely that this cruffin craze will fade away like most other fads.

I work in a world of bits and bytes, and black and white. Things are always perfectly logical and make sense. But the real world is a lot different.

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