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placebo effects, going all in, and email ghosting
Mar 20, 2017

What our friends say.

If you live in NYC or SF you've probably waited for 2 hours+ for Ippudo Ramen or Mensho Tokyo. Or perhaps if you have a sweet tooth, remember the NYC cronut craze in 2013 at Dominque Ansel bakery where people were lining up at 6am or paying people $100 to wait in line for them? No, of course not, you're not that crazy...you only paid $75 for someone to stand in line to get you those Snapchat Spectacles!

So...why do we subjugate ourselves to such torture? While our economist friends will be quick to say "supply and demand", that doesn't explain why we are willing to stand in line for hours on end. Could it be our belief that such foods taste so much better? Or as a psychologist would say, a placebo effect? Marketer Seth Godin writes

 
"Placebos work because our brain picks up where our belief begins. Without some sort of conscious or subconscious trigger, the placebo effect never kicks in. But when it does, it's astonishingly effective. Placebos change performance, cure diseases and make food taste better."

We've prescribed some sort of "awesomeness" value to the object, which then triggers us to produce a desired result, leading us to believe certain foods are more tasty than they actually are.
 
"The efficacy of a technology, a shortcut, a medicine, a tool, a method—you get the idea—is directly related to how difficult it is to obtain."

We could use this to our advantage. Tell yourself that the post work-out smoothie tastes amazing and you'll work 10x harder to get it. Or, if you're like me, turn off all Facebook messenger notifications and you'll appreciate each message less, while turning down the hourly distractions.
 
What was your last placebo?
Going all in.
There's so much bravado associated with going all in, whether it's in poker, or making a life changing decision. It's interesting because it's all or nothing. There's so much risk and that's why conversely, we're often told to play it safe: dip our toes in the water, take baby steps, etc. and where does that get us? Mediocrity.

Outside of life-changing decisions, we encounter numerous opportunities to learn a new skill, explore a new hobby, or have some fun – with limited downside. Take surfing for example. What separates the pros from the newbies? Yes, it takes years of practice but how can you accelerate that learning curve? If you watch closely, the newbies oftentimes take baby steps to feel comfortable with certain steps, yet by the time you're a pro it's all muscle memory. 

By forcing ourselves to learn via baby steps we are instead slowing down our learning curve. So if we want to bust the learning curve we need to swim out to the deep end and just go all in.

Hear, hear!

Got that friend or co-worker you talk alot about "life" stuff with? 

Get 'em onboard!
Therapy.
If you're not an inbox-zero-kinda-person, it's very likely a couple of your emails have been sitting there for days if not weeks. They're likely inbounds from coworkers or friends that you just haven't got to because you're just so busy. Wouldn't it be nice to get some template emails on how to respond to these situations? Luckily, thanks to the New Yorker, now you do! Here are some of our favorites:

When Friday comes around...
"I totally meant to respond to this earlier, but I didn’t know the answer to your question and I kept not caring enough to ask anyone. Now a weird amount of time has passed, so I’m going to loop Laura (cc’d) into this e-mail thread to see if she can handle this. Laura?"
When you're still slammed at work come Monday 5pm...
"So sorry that I’m just getting to this now. There were six other people on this e-mail thread and I was hoping that one of them would answer your question and I could just go on living my life."
When you realize a couple of weeks later...
"Oh, my God, so sorry. I’m finally responding to this e-mail that I fully intended to ignore forever because I realized that I need to ask you for a favor and I don’t want you to be holding an e-mail grudge against me."
Note: use at your own risk!
Here's to conquering our 20s and 30s together. See you back in your inbox tomorrow!

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