I use a trick with co-workers when we’re trying to decide where to eat for lunch and no one has any ideas. I recommend McDonald’s. An inter…
“It’s as if we’ve broken the ice with the worst possible idea, and now that the discussion has started, people suddenly get very creative. I call it the McDonald’s Theory: people are inspired to come up with good ideas to ward off bad ones.”
In this TEDxRiodelaPlata talk Dan Ariely answers the question: what makes us feel good about our work?
Some of my key takeaways:
- The difference between Adam Smith and Karl Marx can be summed up as the difference between one person doing one step in the process of creating something versus one person doing all the steps. The person who does all the steps has a firmer connection to the final result which can be both motivating and rewarding, even though it’s less efficient through the lens of industrialization.
- Although specialization was better for an industrial economy, it might not be as good for a knowledge economy where the output of each individual is more abstract and more reliant on that individual’s degree of motivation, interest, and care. Thus, in a knowledge economy, efficiency isn’t best gained through specialization, but rather through an increase in each individual worker’s sense of ownership, pride, and meaning.
- That’s not to say we should disregard specialization, but that we should realize we can find greater gains in productivity by figuring out how to increase an individual’s connection to the value they provide.
Even when advertising demonstrably works and is highly cost effective, people in finance and in the boards of companies don’t seem to like it very much. Since they have a mental model of the world in which everyone has perfect information, they have of course constructed in their heads a vision of the world in which marketing shouldn’t exist.
You cannot copy high quality, and it takes a long time to get a reputation for quality.
…no financial decision weighs heavier than a creative decision. They are equal.
I was at a First Growth Venture Network event last week. One of the panelists on the session was Katia Beauchamp, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of BirchBox. Katia had a wonderful anecdote about how her first…
“In the old Gmail compose window if you have Rapportive installed you can guess people’s email addresses. If you’re wrong, Rapportive won’t provide a summary for the user and you can guess another format for the email address.”
1. Profit can be part of the product
2. Choose partners wisely
“In China, it’s
like this from day one,” he says. “Companies don’t wait until later to figure out who their competitors are, since they have a business model from the start.”
3. Execution is more important than differentiation
“The Chinese mentality is: If they built this, I can build it too,” says Kobo…“The question Chinese Internet companies are always asking is: How do I do what they’re doing, but better? That’s the Chinese school in us,” says Kobo.”
4. Calculate profitability or go home
Kobo says he crunched hypothetical numbers on profitability before his team began building anything.
5. Don’t celebrate growth until the bills are paid