Archive for life

the $ symbol puts you off spending


Presumably your brain reacts to the reminder that this is real money, and you tend to be more cautious. Or the lack of a reminder, fools you in to forgetting to total the cost.

“…customers given a menu without dollar signs spent significantly more than customers who had menus with dollar signs.”

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the closer we get to the goal, the more motivated we become

"One’s motivation to reach a goal increases as one’s distance from the goal decreases," Heidi Grant Halverson writes in HBR.

It’s the Goal Looms Larger Effect: The closer you are to a goal, the more it dominates your thinking and receives more of your ever-more-scarce attention–which is why mice closer to cheese or salespeople close to sales goals or reporters closer to deadline suddenly get so dedicated.

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ignore the jerk

“…the research concluded that you’re not doing yourself any favors by responding to rude people or people who make you angry.

…researchers note that it can be difficult to overcome our natural impulse to engage when someone converses with us or says something that triggers us, but shunning is a more powerful weapon against jerks than argument.”

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questions questions?

“Clay explained it in a way that I’ve never heard before and I’ll never forget again. Paraphrased slightly, he said: “Questions are places in your mind where answers fit. If you haven’t asked the question, the answer has nowhere to go. It hits your mind and bounces right off. You have to ask the question – you have to want to know – in order to open up the space for the answer to fit.”

What an insight. He continued to talk about the power of questions. Questions are your mind’s receptors for answers. If you aren’t curious enough to want to know why, to want to ask questions, then you’re not making the room in your mind for answers. If you stop asking questions, your mind can’t grow.”

Ask good questions;

* Don’t ramble on–terminate the sentence at the question mark.

* Get comfortable with silence.

* Start with "who, what, when, where, how, or why" for more meaningful answers.

* Don’t fish for the answer you want.

* Stop nodding if you don’t understand–ask a follow-up instead.

* If you get a non-answer, approach it again from a different angle.

* Rephrase the answer in your own words.

Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions.

Ask questions to evaluate the validity of the other person’s information. Ask questions to gather data, to help formulate data in to information. Ask questions to help reach conclusions. Ask questions to make decisions and direct action.

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simple ideas

“Simple ideas are easier to understand. Ideas that are easier to understand are repeated. Ideas that are repeated change the world. “

Simon Sinek

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externalized through an avatar?

Aligning a player’s gaming journey of success and how this is represented to a social audience – an important consideration for western design applicable to emerging markets.


Broadly speaking, the Chinese middle classes believe that with the right competitive tools, they will find an opportunity to transform their lives, in contrast to a blue-collar laborer, who sees his social and economic status as more or less fixed. It’s the difference between basic needs of survival and physical safety and a need to satisfy social status requirements. The middle class engages with society to get recognition for financial success. It’s important to note, though, that this is not about arrival, it’s about being on the right journey…

“A brand’s success is rooted in an appreciation of people’s fundamental motivations—and in China this means that a premium-priced product must be a tool for social advancement.


Acceptance. Young college graduates are unproven, in search of acceptance. They need acknowledgment of their potential, not admiration for their achievement.

Recognition. Once strivers are in mid-career, they must be recognized for both their past achievements and their capacity for further advancement.

Admiration and iconization. Toward the top of the hierarchy, the laoban, or boss, requires unanimous respect and deference.

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ideas are cheap

Ideas are cheap, doing it is hard

“Simple ideas like this will naturally occur to many people. A small percentage of those will have the ability to execute on them. A small percentage of those will then actually do so. And an even smaller group will combine it with an otherwise interesting product, thus making it into something.”

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attention attention attention

Follow the rule of threes. Have three main points. But no more than three main points; no more than three topics; no more than three examples per topic. Group thoughts in threes; words in threes; actions in threes.”

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outcomes, PAM

“What managers really need is for people to “do whatever it takes in the conditions encountered” to get required results. This is most likely to occur when people are assigned clear, significant outcomes, they have autonomy to make decisions that impact their results, they have a chance to grow and develop their skills, and they have success that is captured by documented results.”

PAM … Purpose, Autonomy & Mastery

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if you can’t do it tomorrow…. you won’t be able to do it next week

“Yes . . . Damn!” effect, as it’s been dubbed by Gal Zauberman and John G. Lynch Jr., who are professors of marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Colorado at Boulder, respectively. This occurs when we agree to a future commitment in the belief that we’ll have more free time later than we do now — and then, when it comes due, discover we still don’t have time for it.


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what’s the difference between a janitor and the VP?

Reasons, situations and excuses all matter in some jobs, and are acceptable at certain seniority levels. Achieving goals, regardless of the situation matters more and more with seniority.

“Jobs imagines his garbage regularly not being emptied in his office, and when has asks the janitor why, he gets an excuse: the locks have been changed, and the janitor doesn’t have a key. This is an acceptable excuse coming from someone who empties trash bins for a living. The janitor gets to explain why something went wrong. Senior people do not. “When you’re the janitor”, Jobs has repeatedly told incoming VPs, “ reasons matter.” He continues: “Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering.” That “Rubicon, “ he has said “ is crossed when you become a VP.”

quote from Fortune on Apple

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tracking trends

  1. Know why you’re tracking trends
  2. Don’t get your trends mixed up
  3. Know a fad when you see (or smell) one
  4. Don’t apply all trends to all people
  5. Be (very) curious
  6. Have a Point of View
  7. Benefit from an unprecedented abundance of resources
  8. Name your trends
  9. Build your Trend Framework
  10. Start a Trend Group (even if it’s just you)
  11. Secure senior backing or be doomed
  12. Don’t worry about timing or life cycles or regional suitability or…
  13. Apply, apply, apply
  14. Have some fun
  15. Let others do some of the work for you in 2011

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understand, don’t ask

Understand and empathize with consumers of your product to stimulate innovation.

“Internalizing the values of your users makes innovation easier, but getting there is hard …the goal is not to ask them what we should design, but to gain insight, absorb it, and translate it into a language our clients understand. Without that insight, any attempt at innovation is no better than a wild guess.”

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too scared to ask ‘stupid’ questions?

“If we can see that questions are linked to innovation and problem-solving, why are so many of us reluctant to ask them?….”

“A recent University of Michigan study found that people in business are generally loathe to raise questions—primarily because they fear that anyone who asks fundamental questions will be perceived as incompetent or uninformed. And if anything, this problem seems to worsen over time as people gain more experience and expertise in their fields. After all, experts know they’re supposed to supply answers, not more questions.”

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timing is everything

Comedian Jack Benny: ‘When you are speaking, timing is not so much knowing when to speak, but knowing when to pause

Seven types of pause:

  • Phrasing: taken whenever a punctuation mark is used.
  • Breathing: to enable breath to be renewed.
  • Rhythmic: associated with the rhythm of speech
  • Underlining: used after a word or phrase to let its importance sink in.
  • Emotional: used during emotional passages to enhance the effect.
  • Confident: used at the beginning of a speech to emphasise the speaker’s authority and confidence.  (and create anticipation)
  • Emphatic: used before a word or phrase to make it stand out. (or tease)

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people are memorable

“people remember the people details not the thing details”

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on the run at home

“The myth that mobile players are experiencing games "on the run" is wrong, said Boatman. 47 per cent play when at home, 14 per cent at work and only 12 per cent whilst commuting.”

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clear view or short distance?

Folk wisdom:
“Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.”

Which is good advice when looking in to the future, trendwatching or forecasting.

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diffusion of responsibility

“Diffusion of responsibility is a social phenomenon which tends to occur in groups of people above a certain critical size when responsibility is not explicitly assigned.”

This can be a problem in large meetings or discussion forums. Issues are identified, and action might even be suggested. Unless someone specifically takes ownership for an action, everyone might assume someone else is doing it.

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game design is in no small part marketing


Two of the ten point in the HUGHTRAIN Mk II, that are directly relevant to game design.

“1. The market for something to believe in is infinite.

We are here to find meaning. We are here to help other people do the same. Everything else is secondary. We humans want to believe in our own species. And we want people, companies and products in our lives that make it easier to do so. That is human nature.

“7. Your job is no longer about selling. Your job is about firing off as many synapses in your customer’s brain as possible.

The more synapses that are fired off, the more dopamines are released. Dopamines are seriously addictive. The more dopamines you release, the more the customer will come back for more. Your customer thinks he is coming back to you for sane, rational, value-driven reasons. He is wrong. He is coming back to feed.

1 – get the subject, setting, story and situations right, so that people care about them and they have meaning.

7 – dopamine is at the heart of lots of human behaviour. Get your rewards paying out in dopamine, and create anticipation for rewards & outcomes to pay out more dopamine in advance.

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