For this week, I was thinking of collecting some of the most exciting articles I’ve been reading this week and tell you what I like about them.
People are more likely to consider solutions that add features than solutions that remove them, even when eliminating elements is more efficient. Generally, during problem-solving, people favor adding over subtracting.
Nassim Taleb talks about this concept often and refers to it as “Via Negativa” - the process of making good decisions by eliminating bad ones.
When an incoming university president requested suggestions for changes that would allow the university to serve its students and community better, only 11% of the responses involved removing an existing regulation, practice, or program. Many other experiments show the same thing.
Their participants offered so few subtractive solutions not because they didn’t recognize the value of those solutions but because they failed to consider them.
There are many real-world consequences of failing to consider that situations can often be improved by removing rather than adding – remember the concept of VIA NEGATIVA the next time you are solving a problem.
This Article is written by Alex Danco, who is currently working closely with Tobi Lütke at Shopify.
In World Building, he starts with the famous career advice: “Everyone works in sales, even if they don’t realize it.” and proposes his update:
“Everyone’s job is world-building, even if they don’t realize it.”
Both ideas are more or less the same, but what do they mean? The more complex or valuable something is that I am trying to sell, the more critical it is for me to build a world around that idea. A world in which other people can walk in, explore, and hang out - without you having to be there with them the whole time. You need to build a world so rich and captivating that others will want to spend time in it, even if you’re not there.
Alex suggests that the most challenging problems to solve are so-called system problems.
System problems cannot be fixed in one step or set in a sequence of linear steps. Why not? Because when systems find a steady state, they’re “steady” not because they’re static but because they’re dynamically held in place by feedback loops. If you try to change one variable, you can apply as much effort as you like, but the minute you let go, the system will just snap right back to its original configuration.
If you want to change how a system works and move the system into a new steady state closer to your goal, the sequential effort won’t do much. What you need is parallel effort: you need several different things to happen, all at the same time, for the system to move in the direction you want and stay there.
It’s not enough to tell one good story; you have to create an entire world that people can step into, familiarize themselves with, and spend time getting to know.
This article talked about concepts and predictions I thought of as interesting. It might interest you as well.
B2A – The rise of algorithmic consumption
It stands for Business-to-Administration, and the seeds of this trend have been around for a while. As automated consumption is growing, businesses will need to ask: what changes for us when selling to an algorithm rather than a person?
Sustainability feat. ultra-convenience
These two powerful forces are shaping our behavior a lot. Consumers expect the highest amount of convenience while more sustainable and aware consumerism types are growing in importance. People want consumption that is less damaging to the planet and society and feels less guilty. This article suggests that people will embrace services that combine on-demand convenience and sustainability in powerful new ways: Sustainability as a Service.
Until next week,