Adoption fund [EXPERIMENT] – Conclusion

Yes, it turned out to be one of the craziest experiments I’ve run so far. The biggest reason for this of course was that it related to one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made along with the added joys of getting other people involved.

Most experiments, to count as experiments, have to be reversible, at least most of the way. And also, in order to keep the number of variables down, I try to avoid relying on other people’s responses for the experiment to run.

This one broke, completely shattered, both of those guidelines. I mean, the experiment itself could be reversed. Now that I’ve finished it, I could refund all the money and never ask for more again. More realistically, though, since the experiment was tied to my adoption announcement, it certainly didn’t feel reversible.

And it included people, lots of people. In fact, the friends and family involved in this experiment drove it to become what it became more than anything I really did beyond just announcing it. All the questions and support and criticisms and complaints came from people other than me.

As a result, this experiment marked a departure in experiments for me. In a way, it became an experiment within an experiment, like a meta experiment if you want to get all fancy.

The primary experiment was the adoption fund, raising money to help me adopt a child. The secondary, meta experiment, though, was to see how experiments play out when they involve lots of people in something super public and super charged with emotions and thoughts and ideas and dogmas.

By both counts, this project has been a success. While I’m still debating how I’ll proceed with future fundraising efforts (or whether I will at all in this context), I certainly learned a ton about the psychology going into this type of project. I learned how I like to conduct these experiments. Specifically, I learned that I like experiments that cause friends to challenge their assumptions and ask me questions to challenge mine.

In April, I mentioned that it’ll be tough to top this past year. Similarly, it’ll be tough to top this past experiment. Instead of trying to do that, though, I’m going to just try to continue with more, more experiments like this, whether they top the previous ones or not.

(But secretly, yeah, I’m pretty sure we will top this one, even if that’s not the goal specifically. Stay tuned.)