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Mark Knell
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Charles Duhigg has a recent bestseller, "The Power of Habit", which makes a case for why we might, as you put it, "need to get some sense of completion", and to get it quickly. He writes for the NY Times and had a piece in the Sunday magazine around the time the book was published. It covers both theories of habits, and also some interesting stuff about datamining for consumer behavior. Really a good read. To take one example: there's a nice story in there about how Febreze was kind of a flop in its first formulation and marketing attempt. They positioned it simply as an odor remover--just another household chemical. Worse, the people who needed it most (people living with strong smells around the house) didn't purchase it, because they had merely adapted to the smells to the point they weren't even aware of their need. P&G pivoted, tweaking the formula (adding perfumes, so you could tell you'd used it) and selling people on the idea of Febreze as a finishing touch on a cleanup job well done. They baked it into their cleaning routine--their habits--and Febreze became a billion-dollar hit. The book's larger point is that habits that lack a moment of reward and self-congratulations, promptly applied, don't stick. If true, then it's both a strong argument that--and a clear explanation of how and why--a build should give quick, confidence-building feedback. Great post, as usual.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2012 on The Goal of a Build at Michael Feathers
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May 25, 2012