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Why putting people into boxes is necessary

Unfair uses an online brain analysis (OBA) for which each result is symbolized by a profile of 3 letters (XMO, AIO, EVD...). Many people think that we put entrepreneurs into boxes. It's true and we hesitated for a long time before doing so. It is by seeing the benefits that we decided to do it intentionally. Here is why we think putting people into boxes is necessary.

Here is all possible OBAs profiles

The brain needs to categorize

Have you ever noticed that we systematically categorize everything around us?

  • From objects: “Look at this car, what brand is it? What type, convertible or sedan? Which model, 911 or 356? What price range, premium or entry-level?”
  • To innovations: when Steve Jobs presented the iPad, we needed to put it in a box: “Is it a computer or a big iPhone? I do not understand...”
  • And especially the people: “He’s a millennial and you are from generation Y”; “He is a polytechnician”; "He's a fifty-year-old”

We categorize everything around us because it allows our brain to better apprehend novelty.

In the same way, we do it with humans, whether we are talking about their age, their social background, their studies...

It is a nature specific to the functioning of our brain.

At Unfair, we believe we can have more impact by doing things aligned with our nature, rather than trying to counter it.

We hesitated a long time before categorizing people

Designing an analysis that places you in one of 16 profiles is a difficult choice.

  1. Firstly because it is simplistic: humanity cannot be placed in 16 boxes. Each person is much more than the sum of the 3 letters of their profile.
  2. Secondly, because two people with the same profile are led to think that they are “alike”
  3. And finally because Unfair's mission is to show how different we all are

But then how can we say we want to show how different people are when we put them into 16 boxes?

We did it because our goal is to be impactful and not to be exhaustive

After more than 1,000 analyses and hundreds of hours of debriefing, we noticed how little entrepreneurs knew about themselves. And knowing oneself very slightly, they cannot accept really who they are.

However, accepting oneself allows you to be aware and embrace your limits. And this is necessary to be accompanied by Unfair.

Indeed, we observed that making someone change is not possible and therefore cannot be a vector of success for a startup.

Knowing this, our goal today is to quickly give entrepreneurs a way to know and accept oneself.

To do this, it is necessary to create a model that is easy to understand and easy to remember: a limited number of profiles, symbolized by letters. The OBA (online brain analysis) was born.

We tried other methods: be exhaustive, create 30-page reports, diagrams... This had no impact because the essential information is flooded in details and people do not remember the key elements that matter.

We therefore used a model with a limited number of profiles, easy to remember, which helps entrepreneurs to own their strengths and limits on a daily basis.

3 benefits of putting people into boxes

  1. It allows you to grasp a simple concept and then dive deeper into its specifics
    Despite the simplicity of this profiles system, there is an infinity of underlying subtleties that lead to many questions from entrepreneurs. These questions are essential because they allow everyone to understand complex concepts that are necessary to accept who each and every one is, as they are.
  2. Having a limited number of boxes makes comparison easy
    In the past, we compared each other based on our studies, our origins, our social status... Now we see entrepreneurs comparing themselves on many more factual elements: the way their brain works.
    This transition is key because in addition to being based on scientific elements, it is a way of helping people to naturally embrace the idea that we are not equal (and using that well, it is a vector of success).
  3. It allows you to accept differences at any moment of the day
    Theory gets quickly forgotten and having a system of letters makes it possible to make our differences concrete on a daily basis.
    Going from “I can't stand my partner planning every detail of what we are doing based on what they think it will look like in the next 18 months, while I’m trying to make an MVP from user feedback by this week”... ... to “I am eXecution and I feel the need to create something right away. For me, it is not important to imagine how things will be like in 2 years because I believe so many things will change and we will figure everything out along the way. But I understand that it is important for my partner, because he/she is Vision and naturally thinks 10 steps ahead”.
    Having this objective knowledge as a base for discussion makes relationships smoother because everyone can see their differences like a puzzle.

The best investors and entrepreneurs see the benefits every day

Cyril was naturally able to create this cerebral gymnastics because Unfair's model is easy to remember
Stanislas can create investment duos by himself according to the OBA profiles because they are easy to understand
Morgan can easily rely on his team to help him assess his blind spots because he has a simple model to catch everyone's biases

Putting people into boxes is a vector of performance

To help people succeed in their respective startups, we must help them accept their limits on a daily basis.

And to do that, we need them to quickly understand and remember who they are.

The only way we have found to do that is to put people into boxes because it is based on the natural functioning of our brain.

Of course having only 16 boxes remains simplistic. We are carrying out work to identify multiple differences among each profile and have identified a total of 64.

Indeed, for each of the 16 main profiles, we were able to determine 4 sub-profiles to give more nuance. These “sub-profiles” are linked to our hormone levels that influence our brain and therefore our OBA profile.

Many of you are asking us for more granularity in profiles. It is something that we will implement over time, especially once the acceptance around our individual limits has evolved.


Unfair identifie les compétences nécessaires à vos problématiques business et valide les candidats qui y correspondent.