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Forces Friday: Pull and Anxiety

Chris Spiek // 06.17.13

We’re back this week with another installment of our Forces Fridays series!

In this episode we take a deep-dive into the Pull of the New Solution and Anxiety aspects of the Forces of Progress Diagram to further explain what causes us as consumers to buy something that we haven’t used or bought before.

We use the iPad mini as an example to discuss how companies can think about reducing the anxiety that consumers may be faced with when making a purchase.

In the next and finally installment of the series, we’ll talk through how the Habit of the Present can act as a barrier to purchase, and some ways to address it.

Show Notes & Links

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Episode Transcript

Chris: Welcome. I’m Chris Spiek. I’m here as always with my partner
Bob Moesta.

Bob: Hey, Chris.

Chris: And Ervin.

Ervin: Hey Chris.

Chris: And we are here to do an episode primarily focused on our
Forces Friday theme that we kicked off a couple weeks ago, a
couple months ago now. We want to talk about pull and along with
pull comes anxiety. We’ll get to that in a second. A couple
other things to announce: we have the Switch Workshop coming up
in Chicago on June 21st so that’s this Friday. Then we just
announced Cambridge in England will be on July 25th. This is
the first European Switch Workshop; we’re pretty excited to go
over there. We’re being hosted by Simon and the people at Red
Gate Software.

Simon attended a workshop a couple months ago and was excited to come
over and have us present to all the people in the UK and around
England. Can’t wait to do that.

Bob: That’ll be a lot of fun.

Chris: Yeah, that’ll be a great event. That’s on a Thursday. You can
find info on; make sure you get in and
register. This last one in Chicago sold out in four or five
days, something like that.

Bob: Even a little bigger. We’re still playing with sizes trying to see
what the right kind of mix is.

Chris: We’re always focused on having that small, intimate group. I
think the last one we did in Chicago we had a couple of
37signals people join in and we ended up around that 30
participant number and it felt really good. We thought we’d go
up to 32 this time; it sold out at 32.

Bob: I think we want the diversity. When it’s too small what happens is
you get two or three people from the same company in there, it’s
really good to have a diverse audience while we’re doing that.

Chris: We found that usually there are one, two, three people from the
same company that have an interest and come together so a bigger
group and diversity across industries, across big companies,
small companies, startups. That kind of thing is always awesome
especially when we get to the break out sections and people…

Bob: The one in New York where we had an investment banker. It was the
first time an investment banker came. He was blown away; it was
awesome. I’m talking to him quite a bit so it’s fun.

Chris: That’s fantastic. The last one sold out quick. This one’s
probably going to do the same so if you’re thinking about going
jump on and you can find info there.

Another item in the event space is the people from, if
you’re in New York, have started a series around how MeetUp is
using the Jobs-to-be-Done framework to understand the reasons
people are hiring Meet Up events.

If you’re in New York or traveling through New York go on,
find the Jobs-to-be-Done group and make sure you join that so
you’re getting the announcements around upcoming events because
I have a feeling they’ve got some pretty cool discussions going

We’re here in Detroit and haven’t had a chance to make it out to any
other events but we hope to do that soon. They’re doing a lot of
cool things around user experience design, user testing. They
attended the last event in New York when we were there doing a
Switch Workshop and I think they came away with a lot of useful
information; it sounds like they’ve been applying it in cool

Bob: Cool ways. Very cool.

Chris: David from Meet Up is heading that up so be sure to look that
up. There’s info on that to be found on
Finally, our wine project is still ongoing. Ervin, I know you’ve
been putting in a lot of work on that.

Ervin: I’ve been having a lot of fun with the wine project. We’re
still looking for more people to participate. Currently the
people who have bought interviews and decided they want to
practice, we’re setting them up now with interview participants
and they’re all getting together.

We’re doing interviews with them and that’s a lot of fun. Of course
we always have room for more; the more people we can bring in,
the ones that fit into our sample size will be a pretty good
time so we’re looking for people to join us.

Chris: If you’ve been to a Switch Workshop and say, you work for a
software company and you’re doing a bunch of interviews around
the people that have bought your software, it’s always good to
get some practice interviews outside your industry. You always
pick up new techniques when you’re talking about the way a
bottle of wine is purchased is a lot different than how software
is purchased. You learn little tips and tricks when you’re
trying to dig in to a subject matter so it’s always good to

If you’re looking to do some of those practice interviews hit the
website, it’ll tell you how to get into the program. It’s
literally just a matter of signing up and we will match you up
with people who have filled out our survey and said, “Hey, I
drink wine. I want to be interviewed.” As funny as that sounds.

Ervin: Mark from Australia, this guy who got in touch with us, is one
of our wine interviews. He had a great time and then he actually
flew from Melbourne to the New York Switch. It was pretty
awesome to have him there.

Chris: We interviewed him on how he came to buy a bottle of wine in a
restaurant. That was a cool interview and ended up really
enjoying the workshop. Get involved, take the survey, sign up
for some interviews. We’d love to have you involved in that wine
project. Forces Friday is what we’re here to talk about: pull
and anxiety.

Ervin: These two in particular I want to set some time aside, I’ve got
you two here, let’s talk about pull and anxiety. On the surface
it’s kind of easy to understand but I know there’s a lot of
nuance that I’ve heard us talk about around the office and I
think it would be helpful if other people can get in on it too.

Bob: I think they need to be connected primarily because once…it has to
do with a light bulb. When you see “This is what I can do”
there’s an attraction to doing that either from the outcome,
we’ll dive into that, but there are forces about the nicety of
it. Then there’s this friction: “What about this?” And “That’s
not going to work.” It’s the anxiety. It’s really good to talk
about those two coupled together than just talk about…

The push was really about the situational context; what in your life
is happening to you that says “I need to make progress.” When we
start talking about that pull the pull and the anxiety go
together so I think it’s worthwhile talking about it.

Ervin: We say “light bulb”. For anyone new listening light bulb is…

Bob: It’s a new idea. It’s an idea of what your life will be like when you
have the new solution. “Oh, now that I have an iPhone I can do
this.” The light bulb would be the iPhone and then your life
with the iPhone in it. It’s not just the product; it’s the
future you with that product. It’s that vision.

If you’ve never heard any of this before…we talk about what we call
“progress making forces”. It’s the notion that there’s a push to
a situation that causes you to say, “I need to do something
different” and you usually don’t do something different until
you know that there’s a way to do something different and that
way has attractiveness or a pull, and then has some anxiety
attached to it.

Then there’s some allegiance you have to the past that kind of says,
“I’ve been doing this for years. I really don’t want to change.”
It’s the play of those forced over time that cause you or to
either switch to something new or keep doing what you’re doing.

Chris: If this is totally foreign to you go to and do
a search for “forces diagram”. There are pictures there. The
other interesting thing…you brought up push and before we
dive in I want to bring this up because we had a great question
recently that got asked of us: what’s the difference between
being pushed through a situation and being pulled through a

It actually took me back to the interview we did with Sarah that
we’ve referred to before, around buying a laptop bag.
Essentially the story goes she realizes she has to go on this
three week long trip for work and she wants to take a laptop bag
with her instead of a separate laptop bag and a separate purse.
She wants a laptop bag that’ll act as a purse for evening
functions, basically.

For 90% of the story there’s no pull. She’s being pushed by this
calendar date that says, “In a month I’m leaving and I want to
solve this,” and the situation is pushing here to make progress.
That’s her story. If you think about the opposite, the person
that doesn’t need the laptop bag that’s walking through the mall
and sees the Tumi store and it’s like, “Oh my God. That laptop
is amazing,” but they have no situation to connect it to that
would be the equivalent of being pulled through the moment.

It’s like, “I really didn’t think I had a problem, now I see this
cool, fashionable thing and I’m trying to connect it to
something in my life and find push.” In the current situation is
your life driving you, or is that seeing the iPhone for the
first time and saying, “Oh, my God, that’s just a fantastic
device. I have to figure out how it ties back to me”?

Bob: In my head all these things happen to me that say, “I’ve got to do
something different” and they add up and they pull together and
snowball. The thing is when I see the Tumi bag in the window
what happens is you have to think about there are a bunch of
pieces in my mind that suddenly start to click together.

Like, “Oh yeah, now I wouldn’t have to do that.” It’s almost like
backward rationalizing but it’s the disparate pieces in your
mind but when you see the solution it starts to connect that
push together to say, “Oh yeah, this would make my life easier
in these ways and I wouldn’t have to do these things.”

For me, having done this for a long time, there’s always some kind of
push. It could have accumulated over a long period of time and
there’s really never not a push. There’s always a push to me.

Chris: If there’s no push and you walk by the Tumi store you’ll never
notice the laptop bag. As much as you’ll say, “I saw this great
laptop bag,” there’s something that’s going on…

Bob: It’s a trigger that goes chk, chk, chk, chk. Things connecting and
linking up.

Ervin: I want to break that apart for a minute. You’re saying I’m
walking through the store. I see the Tumi bag. The Tumi bag is
the most beautiful bag I’ve ever seen in my life. There had to
have been a push in my life that hasn’t recognized this…

Chris: Your eyes would have gone by it.

Bob: You might appreciate it for its beauty and then moved on but when you
stop that’s where it’s like, “Click, click, click, click. This
would be really good for that.” In your mind you’re connecting
it to the problems that you have. I always think of people
having a list of problems that’s a thousand long in the mind,
right? You’ll usually work on the top five.

The thing is, you’ll walk by the Tumi bag and it might be four or
five little things that are lower on your list that all of a
sudden collect together to make it a bigger priority. It’s like,
“My other one’s kind of ripping. I really haven’t thought about
that. My laptop…” You start to piece it together and then,
“I’m going to buy that bag.”

Again, people would call that impulse buy. I don’t believe in that
concept. I think that it’s the triggers in the moment that can
cause you to make it look like an impulse buy but there’s still
causality behind all of it. There’s some value proposition that
forms in people’s heads that make it worth paying $200 or $500
for a bag that would seem like it’s an impulse buy. And that’s
where you have to be able to unpack it and that’s what the
interviews are about.

Chris: The pull that we’re here to talk about is primarily the energy
that comes from the product essentially. This is the magnetism
one. I can be working on push a long time: I can say, “I have
the trip coming up. I have the trip coming up.” There’s no pull
until I see that first bag or I have the idea of that bag and I
can say, “Okay. This is a possible solution.” That’s pulling
through the moment. It will have some sort of magnetism that
draws me towards it, that draws me to play out in my mind what
it would be like to travel with it, use it for work, use it as a
purse in Sarah’s instance.

Bob: There are two techniques. One technique is as they talk about the
product what you want to be able to do is make sure you get to
the notion that what are you going to be able to do that you
couldn’t do before? It’s ultimately what they’re trying to get
done. It’s the notion of them saying, “Oh, God. I really love
that laptop bag because it looks so cool.” You start to unpack
it: really, the shoulder strap is the best because this one digs
into me and now my shoulder won’t hurt. What you want to get to
is “my shoulder won’t hurt.”

Because the outcome is what you’re trying to get to, not necessarily
just the feature or the benefit that they articulate. It’s
making sure you get deep enough into what will it do for them in
terms of how will it make them feel? What will they be able to
do that they don’t do now? What does it get rid of? What does it
add? It’s about making sure you get it down to what it does for
them not what it does.

Because they’ll say, “Looks great.” “Looks great” doesn’t tell me
what it does. Does it make you look great? Does it look great
because it’s more comfortable? What does “look great” mean?
You’ve got to be able to connect it back to why it’s important
so that’s where we play the little interview trick of “I’m
confused”. You bought this because it looked great but why is
that important?

You start to go back and forth on it. Really, I wanted to look great
for this trip because I was trying to impress people blah, blah,
blah, and you start to get the real understanding that it was
giving them confidence or something like that.

Chris: Talk about anxiety as it relates to the light bulb.

Bob: Again, there are three elements here: there’s the light bulb, the
pull and the anxiety. Any new solution can create magnetism or
pull but it doesn’t have to but what most people miss is the
anxiety that the new solution creates. This to me is the kind of
one of the hidden gems is that people keep thinking, “If I add
more features and benefits people will like it more,” so I
create more magnetism and it actually makes it more attractive.

What they miss is the anxiety of the complexity. I add all these
features and, “Now I don’t know how to work it. Oh, my god. How
do I do this?” It’s almost the self doubt that you have and it’s
the things you think about like, “What am I going to do about
that? Will that work that way?” It’s almost that self-doubt,
that friction you create within your mind that literally says
why this wouldn’t be the right solution, or you don’t have the
right information. There are two ways to get around this. One
way is to provide more information or to minimize risk. It’s
like a money back guarantee.

Chris: It’s amazing how many times we’ll talk to people and they’ll
say, “I thought about it and I knew I could just return it.”
Then they’ll go on to say, “Yeah, I returned a bunch of stuff to
this store. Over the past ten years I’ve brought stuff back.”
And they’ll actually think about the last time they brought
something back. “Oh, that wasn’t that bad. Okay, now I’ll go
make the purchase.”

Until we talk to them and interview them, you say you’re leading them
on, but they can actually say, “Yeah, I actually considered what
it would be like to walk through and bring this thing back and
that’s the point at which I tipped and actually made the

Bob: For example Kohl’s, if you think about Kohl’s department store, I
think it does a very good job on pull and minimizing anxiety.
The pull is they offer these coupons that are time based that
say “You get 30% off up till Friday” and they have them expire
on the days you’re not wanting to shop. It’s like, “Oh I can go
get this. I need these tennis shoes. I’m going to do this.” The
whole thing is if you buy something there you can always return
it; no questions asked.

There are numerous people we’ve interviewed who were like, “Yeah, I
bought it because I knew if it didn’t work I could return it.”
And it didn’t work for them. “Did you return it?” No, I didn’t
return it. It just gets over that anxiety of what am I going to
do and how do I return things and so you find the anxiety being
able to understand what’s holding them back.

The classic example is in the moving business. We went to find out
what was holding people back? It wasn’t actually making the
houses more attractive or adding more features to it; it was us
managing the anxiety that helped improve sales. It was helping
people move. Like, literally, you know what, I included moving
as standard: packing them up. The one thing for older people is
they didn’t want to go in the basement and pack 20 years of
their life and the thing that was holding them back was all the
stuff in their basement.

Chris: As much as a new home is a product they’re seeking out, there’s
this whole purchase and move that is user…the software guys
would call it a “user experience”. When I sign that purchase
agreement and start this process I’m going to essentially have a
user experience: I’ve got to get the mortgage, I’ve got to pack
up all my crap, the basement’s got to be cleaned out, I’ve got
to sell this home. It’s all that friction in the “user
experience” that held people back not the garage isn’t big
enough. It doesn’t have granite.

Bob: Thing is what you do is you compete with “I’ll give you free granite
this month if you buy today.” The reality was, no. I’m not going
to give you free granite. I’ll include moving as standard. Sales
totally went through the roof. It’s a totally different force
but it’s being able to understand that just because I increased
the pull doesn’t make people flip because sometimes increasing
the pull actually increases the anxiety.

I’ll give you free granite. “Oh, my God. If I did this thing…But
I’m never going to get someone to buy my house.”

Chris: All the energy goes up.

Bob: It adds energy to the situation, adds tension but it doesn’t
necessarily force movement because the pull goes up and the
anxiety goes up equally and they negate each other but it’s now
a situation intention.

Chris: Does Kohl’s play up that no-questions-asked return policy? Do
you think they do a good enough job?

Bob: I think they do a great job. Again, I haven’t done a ton of
interviews in that space…I guess I have done a ton of
interviews in that space. It’s one of those things that enable
people to do…I think that’s what JCPenney missed.

Chris: If I’m buying for my kids, buying for my husband, Kohl’s has
that nature: you’re buying for somebody else if they don’t like
it or it’s the wrong size…

Bob: Just bring it back. I think the thing Penney’s missed is the…my
belief is it’s all a game. They’re willing to sell anything at a
price and the reality is they mark it up to get there.

Chris: Discount it down.

Bob: But they create this urgency between a coupon and an expiration

Chris: Like a weekend sale or something like that?

Bob: Exactly. What Penney’s was trying to do was go to a “Hey, we’re going
to give you everyday low prices. Here’s what it is.” And they
destroyed the example of a pull force. I think they had the
notion of better service but the fact is that it was the game
that people play on the pull that enable people to say, “I’m
going to go buy clothes.”

Chris: You could also have anxiety around getting the lowest price. If
I’m worried about getting the lowest price, and most of us are;
I don’t want to pay more than I have to for something I’m
buying. I’m a sucker, right? But if I see the flyer that says,
“30% off this weekend only,” sometimes it’s not completely
logical. It’s like, “Hey, this is a great deal.” That anxiety is
much lower around that purchase. I’m going there because they’re
having this blockbuster sale.

If you say “every day low prices” it doesn’t have that time
compressed energy around it. It’s not going to run out. I’ve got
all the time in the world to research and to compare prices. It
doesn’t have the same effect on that anxiety force.

Bob: I did an interview in New York with Tim on shoes. He actually went to
a Kohl’s and bought a new pair of shoes. He wore a new pair of
shoes and he kept putting them up on the table. Remember? It
turns out he actually bought three pairs of shoes not one and he
didn’t actually remember he bought three pairs until about
halfway in.

He got his 30% off discount to get it and the thing is, at some point
in time he liked the shoes so much, the one pair, he was worried
they’d go away that he went out and paid full price, went back
to the same store, bought the same shoes at full price to be
able to buy. That notion of what you’re saving and what you’re
doing distorts things. It’s almost like a form of surrealism.
It’s…help me with the word.

Chris: It skews everything.

Bob: That’s a good word: it skews everything. In the middle of the
interview he was like, “The coupon was going to expire today and
if I didn’t spend it today, I didn’t get it. I saw two pair and
hey it’s 30% off and I could get three pair for this. I’m just
going to get three pairs of shoes.” It’s like, “I never buy
three pairs of shoes.”

It was that whole notion of “If I’m buying one I might as well buy
three” and it highlighted this whole notion of the dynamics of
anxiety and if I didn’t like them I could always bring them
back. He wears them at different rates and it’s very, very

Chris: I’m a web guy at heart. I’ve got to bring it all back to the
Web. I think anxiety is probably one of the most overlooked
aspects on the Web. You’ve got e-retailers trying to deal with
it. I think Zappos is doing a fantastic job because you can’t
really size shoes on the Web; you’ve got to be able to return
them easily. They’ve probably cracked the code on lowering that
anxiety around purchasing shoes.

But a lot of services could really put the mirror on their product,
or look in the mirror and say, “Can we do a better job reducing
anxiety?” I’ve gone through so many sign up processes where I’ve
scratched my head and said, “You’re asking me the hardest
question up front.”

I went through setting up an e-commerce store a couple months ago.
The first question when I clicked “sign up” was “Name your
store”. I’m sorry. I know what we’re going to sell, I know who
the supplier is, I know everything. I don’t have the name yet.

It took me two weeks to sign up for e-commerce package which I was
going to pay a monthly fee to this. Sign up now, put in the
name. And you can never change this because we’re going to
create a DNS record and it’s going to be a domain name. Okay. I
need to stop everything…ask me that last or let me put it in
optionally but when you think about….

Ervin: Or have me lock it in later. Fine, do it temporary to this

Chris: It’s always, “What does your user have to go through to find
this information and bring it to the forefront?” Just because
it’s the way the database is laid out is that the first thing
you need to ask or can you move that back?

Bob: But from their perspective it’s the most important thing because it
sets the DNS, it sets all these other things. Without it I
can’t… and I can’t do anything about it. Like you said, they
asked the hardest question first. They don’t even allow you to
wade into it. You’re in or you’re out.

Chris: Half the time, when you’re building something like that, the
name is going to occur to you as you go through the process
anyway. You title the book at the end because it always comes
out. That’s just one example but from an e-commerce perspective
and a web services perspectives having an idea of the anxiety
that’s holding people back is critical. It’s as critical as the

Bob: What’s your take on it, Ervin? What’s pull and anxiety to you?

Ervin: I’ll tell you how it’s changed. In the beginning, I believe
pull was something the product could create. I thought Apple
made pull. Not anything to do with me. I want into the store and
just by the sheer beauty of an Apple product I would just go buy
it. It never happened to me because I never cared. I was like,
“No I’m not going to jump into iTunes. I’m not going to have
Apple survey everything I do in this world. It’s just not going
to happen. I’m going to keep my Blackberry until I die.”

I was pushed into the situation when I came here. Now I understand
there’s something about me had to connect me to the iPhone.
Wait. This is going on with me. I’m pulled through it. I can see
that now because I’m on the horns of a dilemma now thinking
about getting an iPad. iPad, iPad mini. I haven’t had my event
yet so I’m not going to tip.

There’s not enough pull there because everything I believe I can do
with the iPad, we talk about consumption of the mind, me living
my life with an iPad, I can see myself doing with my iPhone.
Nothing’s tipped yet to make it worthwhile; there’s not enough
pull for me in that situation. Anxiety at this point for the
money. That’s probably what my rational mind tells me; but it’s
600, 700 bucks. I’ve got Netflix on my TV, I’ve got Netflix on
my phone…why?

Chris: At some point there’s pull but is there actually any push that
is unaccounted for? I’m pushed to use the iPad. No, my Mac Book
is right there. I could just use the iPad. No, my phone’s right
here. It’s as if you’re compensating for the push all over the
place and there’s no place for the iPad to fit into.

Ervin: Exactly. That’s my take on it.

Bob: There are two ways we can get him over the hump. One is to give him
an iPad to try for the weekend just so he can see. Again, he has
no experience with know how to work with the hand and the
fingers. In your mind it’s just a big iPhone. No, it’s not
that. But most people who are buying an iPad for the first time
don’t know what it is and they can’t really anticipate what the
experience is until they have some experience with it.

Chris: You find a lot of people in interviews tip when they get the
expert opinion. Even in consumer packaged goods I was walking
down the aisle and this lady said she was an expert in this and
she does it professionally and she said this is the one I use.
I switched to it right away. She knows a lot more than I do.
Doing the demo for a weekend is huge.

I had the iPad for the longest time. We were in San Francisco with
Ryan Singer and he pulled out his iPad mini and I said, “What do
you think?” And he said, “This is the size the iPad was meant to
be.” Didn’t need to ask another question. For me I was like,
“That’s the expert opinion…”

Bob: [inaudible 28:23] right away. Get rid of the other one. [inaudible

Chris: Order on Amazon. A lot of times you have that outside force;
somebody’s meddling with you that will say why don’t you test
[on] this?

Bob: In some cases that’s a reduction in anxiety. The fact is when you get
that expert opinion it’s not a push or a pull; it’s sometimes a
reduction of anxiety of “I don’t want to make the wrong
decision.” But if Ryan’s done it and Ryan’s got all this and now
I get it.

Chris: I think it’s a pull too. I think you’re short circuiting
consumption in the mind. He no longer has to envision his life
with the iPad. He now can live his life with the iPad for a
couple days and you take it away and it’s like, “I can’t do any
of those things anymore, right?” It’s the free trial. It’s the
30 day sample. It’s all that stuff.

Bob: It gets back to probing into what did Ryan’s comment do for you? Did
it actually create more pull, or did it actually reduce anxiety
to get you over? Ryan had both, he made the switch. So was it,
hey, somebody else has made this switch; I should probably make
it too?

Chris: One of the situations was that at the time we were in that all
day conference. We had put on the Switch Workshop, the next day
we were in the all day conference, and it was this feeling in
the conference of, “If I pull out my full size, big daddy iPad
which is like [inaudible 29:40]”

Bob: Like the old TRS 80. Let me just plunk it on the table.

Chris: The fans start going. But I’m going to be the guy who’s not
paying attention, who’s answering email or whatever. But I’ve
got Ryan sitting next to me who’s got his mini in his lap; he
was comfortably taking notes and tweeting and he’s not getting
looked at. Neither you or I don’t think took out our iPads the
whole time.

That to me was non-consumption. In all honesty, not to toot my own
horn, but it really comes true. I will find myself walking into
a bar or restaurant to meet somebody, my iPad would not have
made it with me but the iPad mini, it disappears on the table.
When people show up it’s like we’re all here to talk.

Yeah, I’ve been sitting here going through the Feed reader, reading
blogs, tweeting comfortably for 20 minutes before people show up
and when they get there it’s not…it’s funny to talk about
what’s the difference. It’s like an inch and a half or something
but it’s big enough where that experience changes and is worth

Ervin: Here’s the thing though: How could Apple possibly get that
message to me? Currently, I know that feeling you’re having of I
don’t want to be the guy to pull out the big huge…

Bob: TRS 80, there you go.

Ervin: Yeah. But how can Apple put out a commercial that says, “Hey,
whenever you want to do a covert operation with the iPad mini.
That’s what we’re here for.” The only commercial for the iPad I
see is we can play chopsticks on both of these. That doesn’t
speak to me.

Chris: We have advertising people that are brilliant that listen to
the show so we want ideas on how to communicate the situation
Ervin would see to say, “That’s me. That’s when I wouldn’t use
my iPad.” I need to buy.

Bob: Right. To be honest, it gets back to the mini. Where’s non-
consumption? If you show non-consumption in those anxious
moments where it’s like, “Yeah, I don’t want to pull out my
thing,” and someone else pulls out the mini now it just
shows…”Yeah, I have that moment too.” To me advertising is
about showing you the moments that you aren’t aware of that you
have all the time.

Ervin: It will be interesting to see what people come up with and what
ideas come in. Every iPad, or for that matter, every Apple
commercial I see, none of them speak to me that way. They just
say, “Wow. Look how beautiful it is.” Yeah, it’s beautiful

Chris: I think Siri did a great job of that.

Ervin: I just thought about that too.

Chris: It’s aspirational so it’s like I’m going to be running down the
Hudson River and “add lunch with Bob to my calendar”. They
showed that simplification of different kinds of tasks, replying
to an SMS message. I’d love to be able to just hit that button
and reply to a text message. When you showed the time crunch
jobs, “I’m doing something else and I need to interact with my
phone and Siri is going to let me do that without stopping.” I
think that connected. I don’t think the other ones…

Ervin: This is weird. You know [that even] spoke to in my life, my
dad, who if he could would still have a StarTAC, the old push
button Motorola phone. That’s the only time he’s ever spoken to
me about another phone of this generation. He’s like, “If I
could just talk to the dang thing that would change my life.” It
didn’t tip him but he’s like, “Ah, that would be perfect if I
could just press a button . . .”

Bob: Find out where the anxiety is. The thing is it gets back to in
selling houses or early days…Push: I can see the situation
where they’re going to value this. Pull: oh my god, they love
what I’ve got. Why aren’t you buying it? I don’t understand.
What’s going on? And it’s the two hidden forces of anxiety.
“Yeah, I’m not sure.”

The big thing for me is I think people are afraid they’re not going
to know how to use it and it’s going to be too complicated. When
you get your first Mac and you open the box it’s literally like
“push the button and start.” There’s no “put in this, make a

The Windows experience and the Mac experience are totally…but the
thing is I think the anxiety for your dad is how do I set it up?
Where would I go? Do I have to sync it to something? I don’t
even know if he knows what syncing is. You don’t know what his
anxieties are. The thing is if he’s at least giving indications
of progress, you have to almost dive down and see what’s the
friction that’s holding him back.

Ervin: Yeah, okay.

Bob: To me that’s why I think you’ve got to think about pull and anxiety.
The other thing is this really plays to BJ Fogg’s stuff. Those
who don’t know, BJ Fogg is a behavioral scientist out at
Stanford and he talks about basically why do people change
behavior? It gets back to depending on how motivated people are
and how easy it is to do, there’s this relationship between how
often they’ll do something.

Chris: It’s like chunking tasks down? Chunking down change.

Bob: When motivation is really high it’s easy to get people to do hard
things. What happens is when something is hard people will add
more features and benefits to increase motivation. What BJ talks
about is, no. You need to make it easier.

He’s highlighting this whole notion of the anxiety force of don’t add
more features and benefits. Minimize the anxiety, figure out how
to get rid of the anxiety and you’ll actually get more people to
do what you want them to do.

It’s a very interesting thing; he plays on the right side of the
forces diagram with that in terms of you’re not going to
motivate more people with more features and benefits. I just
don’t believe it happens.

Chris: We’ll put some links in the show notes about ways to…some of
the books.

Bob: He’s got some good stuff. Anything else?

Ervin: No. I think you guys did a pretty good job of breaking that
down for us. I appreciate it.

Chris: I think that’s good. For the next show we’re going to have
Amrita on. She attended one of the workshops at 37signals.
She’s done a ton of interviews and we’re going to talk to her
about what’s she’s learned. I think that’s a good thing to talk

If you listened to the last episode, I highly recommend it. It was
Erika DuFour and Disrupting Photography with Jobs-to-be-Done.
We’ve had her on, we’ve had Ryan and Jason on, all kinds of
Switch Workshop alumnae. I guess I’d say if you’ve gone through
the Switch Workshop, done some interviews, and want to come on
and tell your story, we love hearing from these people and
talking to them.

You don’t have to disclose all the secrets you found because we know
some of it is confidential and trade secrets but talk about your
experiences at least with tactics and techniques of conducting
interviews because people really love to hear that. We’re going
to wrap up this Forces Friday series up in a few weeks with The
Habit of the Present. We’ll be back for that. Thanks guys. See

  • makabde

    Hello, I am an iTunes subscriber of the podcast. I want to inform you that this episode cannot be downloaded. Every time I tried to download it, iTunes shown a “stopped (err = 404)” status. Cheers.

    • chriscbs

      Thanks for bringing it to our attention! Trying to get it fixed now.