This article is the fourth of this new weekly series called Latticework of Mental Models, which will be authored by my friend and partner in writing the Value Investing Almanack, Anshul Khare. Anshul will write on various mental models – big ideas from various disciplines – which can help you think more rationally while analyzing businesses and making your stock investment decisions.
There are certain days in everybody’s life which in spite of being ordinary remain etched in the memory for a long time. It was 15th of December. I distinctly remember it because I bought my car that day.
The ownership of new car brought with it an excitement to take care of it which included an urge to diligently track the car mileage. You know, boys with toys. At an average of 13 km/litre it was a satisfactory performance. However, after few weeks I started noticing that the mileage numbers would go down occasionally and then come back again to the normal.
There wasn’t any change in my driving style or driving routes. Except the source of fuel there was no other variable that could cause the variation in performance. So my hypothesis was that the quality of fuel was affecting my vehicle’s performance. To empirically validate my theory I decided to keep track of different fuel stations where I got the petrol from.