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Happiness as Your Business Model


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My workshop from Thinking Digital UK.

My workshop from Thinking Digital UK.

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  • 1. Happiness as Your incorporating the human drive for fulfillment into your core business Business Model
  • 2. there was this dude
  • 3. wrote this book
  • 4. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest... The Wealth of Nations, Book I Chapter II
  • 5. yikes. well, thank goodness there was an
  • 6. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. The Wealth of Nations, Book 4 Chapter II
  • 7. but what is even more awesome is that this invisible hand ain’t so invisible anymore
  • 8. it’s a big freakin’ obvious hand and it comes in the form of...
  • 9. and we are using these tools to produce all sorts of content online like
  • 10. as we raise our voices, we are doing the stuff that is making us really freakin’
  • 11. we are raising our voices to our
  • 12. we are sharing knowledge and becoming really stinking
  • 13. and we get to do ALL of this while hangin
  • 14. this rocks. it is an ideal economic situation.
  • 15. okay. lemme take that back.
  • 16. it’s an ideal economic situation for the people who are part of
  • 17. i heart economics
  • 18. it is still trying to figure stuff out
  • 19. if only there weren’t those darned people in the equations, everything would go smoothly
  • 20. see, most traditional economics see the world as filled with
  • 21. Homo Economicus
  • 22. characteristics of homo-economicus • efficient • predictable • motivated by the best deals • influenced heavily by marketing • will always work in his/her own best interest • mostly rational in buying decisions
  • 23. (forgive me while I pause to roll my eyes.)
  • 24. you and I both know that the people in the marketplace look a great deal more like
  • 25. Homo Feelgoodonicus
  • 26. characteristics of homo-feelgoodomicus • inefficient • unpredictable • motivated by what makes him/her happy • ignores marketing messages where possible and rails against marketing messages that annoy • will sometimes cut of his/her nose to spite his/her face • buys crap that makes no sense whatsoever, like those big foam fingers for $10 at sports games
  • 27. you just can’t build prediction models for this stuff
  • 28. besides
  • 29. a multi-billion dollar industry
  • 30. [insert staggering stats here]
  • 31. the key is in helping homo-feelgoodomicus feel good
  • 32. and this is where I segue into
  • 33. lets talk a little about the history of positive psychology...
  • 34. psychology had a long history of being focused on the negative stuff, like
  • 35. but in 1998, Martin Seligman, proposed a focus on the study of POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY.
  • 36. positive psychology is the branch of psychology that “studies the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.”
  • 37. pretty complicated stuff
  • 38. ...but WHY happiness? why does this matter?
  • 39. 7 reasons that happiness is key to success 1. happy customers talk to more people about their positive experience 2. unhappy customers talk to the MOST people about their negative experience 3. happy customers are repeat customers 4. happy customers will pay more for an awesome experience 5. happy customers are loyal 6. happy customers will drive your marketing for you 7. happy employees are more productive, creative and loyal
  • 40. so, what is happiness anyway?
  • 41. exercise: what makes you happy?
  • 42. for as many people there are on the planet, there is a different answer for what makes us happy.
  • 43. but the American Psychological Association dug deep down into our hearts desires and found that there ARE some universals. and they are...
  • 44. autonomy
  • 45. autonomy includes: •feeling in control of one’s surroundings •understanding one’s own resilience •feeling of agency •empowerment
  • 46. competence
  • 47. competence includes: •confidence in one’s abilities/knowing one’s strength’s •feedback from others on one’s performance •learning and growing skills •self-actualization •doing meaningful work •getting into flow
  • 48. relatedness
  • 49. relatedness includes: •interacting with others •connecting with people and connecting people •giving to others/being generous •feeling loved •emotional security •acknowledgement and support (mentorship)
  • 50. self-esteem
  • 51. self-esteem includes: •your ‘set-point’ or natural (genetic) confidence level •something you can work on through cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation or medications •not influenced from the outside world, but apparent when triggered by events from the outside world
  • 52. the pillars of happiness • autonomy • competence • relatedness • self-esteem or set point from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA) 2007.
  • 53. what is really important about knowing these pillars is to understand what works AGAINST happiness as much as what creates it.
  • 54. fear
  • 55. contributors to fear •ignorance •misinformation •insecurity •inexperience •fear-mongering •mistrust
  • 56. pew internet research noted that the majority of people ages 50+ who are not online are not online because of the scary stories they hear.
  • 57. confusion
  • 58. what leads to confusion •paradox of choice •noise ratio •lack of clear information •secretiveness •half-truths
  • 59. loneliness
  • 60. what causes loneliness •isolation •distrust of others •fear of rejection •lack of acceptance •insecurity
  • 61. lack of control
  • 62. what leads to lack of control •loss of control over the circumstances of one’s life •loss of agency •withheld information •secrecy •uncontrollable circumstances
  • 63. struggle for survival
  • 64. remember maslow’s hierarchy of needs
  • 65. you can’t get here without all of these being taken care of
  • 66. barriers to happiness • fear • confusion • loneliness • lack of control • struggle for survival
  • 67. the axis of misery
  • 68. industries that seem to be
  • 69. hell bent on delivering miserable experiences
  • 70. car rental companies
  • 71. airlines
  • 72. telcos
  • 73. very consistent in helping their customers feel like
  • 74. in order to be an agent of happiness, you need to either create the environment for it or you have to intervene in the barriers...
  • 75. which means where there is the axis of misery, there is the opportunity to make $$ making people happy
  • 76. (the bar is set amazingly low)
  • 77. car rental companies
  • 78. zipcar
  • 79. airlines
  • 80. southwest
  • 81. telcos
  • 82. skype
  • 83. these companies have flourished in the void where the axis of misery entirely misses the point.
  • 84. exercise: name an experience that made you miserable. Could you build a business that does the opposite? Discuss.
  • 85.’s one thing to remove the barriers to happiness, it’s a whole other thing to
  • 86. figure out the basic principles of
  • 87. and be aware of them when we are designing our websites, products or services, then we can
  • 88. be agents of...
  • 89. so for instance let’s take
  • 90. autonomy
  • 91. we need to take the stuff that leads to people feeling autonomous and build it into what we are doing...
  • 92. 5 ways to create feelings of autonomy 1. give people tools to personalize their experiences 2. build tools that democratize previously inaccessible industries 3. offer clear and attractive choices 4. be open and transparent 5. don’t lock people in
  • 93. competence
  • 94. 5 ways to increase feelings of competence 1. create flow...simple entry point to more complex systems 2. allow ways for mentors to interact with newbies (create rewards) 3. build consecutive levels of achievement into the experience 4. plant ‘easter eggs’ 5. don’t talk down to your customer
  • 95. “flow” - mihaly csikszentmihalyi (cheek-sent-me-high)
  • 96. The flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great freedom, enjoyment, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego- self, etc.) are typically ignored.
  • 97. achieving flow • skills acquired along the way • clear goals • feedback provided along the way • user control • facilitate concentration and involvement by making the activity as distinct as possible from so-called reality
  • 98. relatedness
  • 99. 5 ways to increase relatedness 1. build in multiple ways for customers to interact 2. have many collaborative experiences 3. create simple ways for customers to share with a friend 4. design for generosity 5. create online/offline meeting experiences
  • 100. case studies
  • 101.
  • 102. makes customers happy by • WOW customer service (autonomy) • comments/shared feedback on shoes (competence) • twitter, blogging interactions (relatedness) • 10 core values (all of the above)
  • 103. 10 core values
  • 104. deliver WOW thru service
  • 105. embrace and drive change
  • 106. create fun and a little weirdness
  • 107. be adventurous, creative and open minded
  • 108. pursue growth and learning
  • 109. build open and honest relationships with communication
  • 110. build positive team and family spirit
  • 111. do more with less
  • 112. be passionate and determined
  • 113. be humble
  • 114. the core values of lead to an incredibly rich set of relationships - with customers, vendors and even competitors
  • 115. customers employees win + win + win = win vendors zappos
  • 116. moleskine
  • 117. makes customers happy by • giving choice in style of notebook - but not too much choice (autonomy) • connecting the experience with turn of the century intellectuals (competence) • moleskinerie (relatedness) • social object (relatedness)
  • 118. twitter
  • 119. makes customers happy by • creating a tool for simple spurts of self expression (autonomy) • ability to learn more advanced functions (competence) • api allows people to build and be more creative with the core (competence) • simplicity of tweeting questions and getting instant answers (competence) • following others gives stream of consciousness (relatedness) • learning about others day to day mundane to deep thoughts and emotions (relatedness)
  • 120. ma.gnolia
  • 121. makes customers happy by • holding regular PIBB chats, VIP program (autonomy) • the ability to follow others and form groups around gathering knowledge (competence) • give thanks (relatedness)
  • 122. ma.gnolia’s
  • 123. wordpress
  • 124. makes customers happy by • plugin architecture and templating system allows for total personalization (autonomy) • open source and transparent (autonomy) • really simple hosted solutions all the way to self-installed (competence) • lots of easter eggs (competence) • sphere plugin, promotion of popular blogs, comment systems and trackbacks (relatedness)
  • 125. exercise: applying the principles of happiness to YOUR company
  • 126. I wonder what
  • 127. would say if he were alive today to see his
  • 128. turn into the much more active
  • 129. of online communities
  • 130. whatever his reaction, I bet he’d be delighted with how the free market has been moved by the
  • 131. of its players
  • 132. because ultimately, the
  • 133. IS about the
  • 134. autonomy
  • 135. competence
  • 136. relatedness
  • 137. of everyone involved
  • 138. the
  • 139. of your business relies on the
  • 140. of your customers
  • 141. licensing:
  • 142. about those rockin’ images: • Many are from (totally cool site) except for: • kissing couple: • robots with penny: • web 2.0 montage: • wiki chalkboard: • moleskine: • twittering: (http:// • zipcar: • southwest airlines: • skype cards: • misery license plate:
  • 143. some references • Craig Newmark Quote: 2004/08/15/NEWMARK.TMP • Avant Game: • Cruel 2 B Kind: • Microformats: • OpenID: • Creative Commons: • BarCamp: • Coworking: • Ma.gnolia: • API (Application Programming Interface): • Friend Wheel: • Great internet stats: • Whuffie: • Porn addiction recovery:
  • 144. Tara Hunt 415.694.1951 skype: tarahunt747