I’ve noticed that when I ride a bike share bike, everyone gives me a lot of space as they pass me. This doesn’t seem to happen when riding my road bike down the same streets. My guess is that people assume bike shares are used by less frequent and less skilled riders.

This serves as two important reminders. First, that signaling matters, but also that signaling can be wrong. If possible, better to watch actual behavior. Watching me cycle a few blocks would probably better identify my skill level than assuming based on the type of bike.

The same holds with business. Think that a startup is hot? Watch how it grows over the next few months. Think that a salesperson is stellar? Look at the sales numbers, rather than how she speaks or how confident she is.