02. So Good. So Dangerous…

02. So Good. So Dangerous…

Today, over 6 billion people use a mobile phone (Crazy!).

This means we are constantly interacting with technology, social media, online shopping, chatting, working, learning, and many other use cases... Technology is incredibly useful!

Nowadays, we can facetime our families and friends, monitor our health, order freshly prepared food, rent a car with a driver for a short period, and receive clothing from anywhere in the world—I'm still fascinated every day by all these possibilities!

Ok, so where is the problem, Adil? Hmm... Infinite-Growth-Capitalism.

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As you've noticed, I didn't mention capitalism itself because I'm not bothered by such an economic system; in fact, I think it even helps innovation :)

My concern is straightforward:

  • We are humans, and by nature, we are born to consume.
  • To achieve great things, we've created Organizations—a.k.a. companies.

And today, the problem is that these companies are often too focused on increasing their numbers endlessly (infinite growth), driven by unbounded ambition, rather than prioritizing meeting their consumers' needs in the best way possible.

This mindset leads to encouraging excessive overconsumption.

As I've said, we are born to consume. So it's so hard to resist it, and even harder today with all the marketing tricks based on studies of human psychology.

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Let's discuss two specific huge companies: "TikTok" and "Amazon".

Can you guess what they have in common? Yes! They generate billions of dollars.

Why? Because they provide the best User Experience (UX) "ever".

And that's problematic! Because they use many marketing tricks for one unique purpose: push you to see another video / order another thing (Even though you definitely don't really need it!)

So, to make their experience perfect, they measure the "churn" rate—how many consumers are lost during a process (or at a specific step). The goal is to understand the reasons why you may have left before completing your purchase. So, they keep optimising until they achieve a perfect, frictionless experience, allowing you to follow your impulsive purchase until the end.

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For example, with Amazon, you can receive your next order at your place within 24-48 hours for free using Amazon Prime subscription—So convincing!

They also use a genius trick: when you use a credit card, they automatically save it for your next purchase. So next time, you can buy whatever you want in just 3 clicks, with less hesitation and less friction.

And that's the moment when technology works against you, not for you.

Ok! So, what's the solution? Simple! Add your own frictions :)

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I've tried it, and it works! Never use Amazon Prime, use a credit card with limited credit, or a one-time-use digital credit card.

The goal is to give yourself some time to hesitate, to think if you really need something!—Ali Abdaal shares a great story about the importance of giving yourself time to hesitate on his newsletter, you can read it after finishing this insight.

Moreover, there are other solutions for other scenarios, like using One Sec app for social media, a physical locker for your phone, or a minimal extension for Youtube etc.

Just keep in mind;

The harder it is to access, the more control you have.—And that's a good thing!

So perhaps the best user experience isn't always the most seamless one; maybe it's the one that gives people enough space to choose freely.

Or maybe we could also work to make the experience better for ourselves—even if it means making it more challenging.

As I believe you're worth more than your bank account :)

Cheers!