At war with our well-being

I have just been reflecting on the trajectory of unsustainability our species is on, and looking at it though the lens of sub-optimisation. Suboptimisation means focusing on one component of a system and making changes intended to improve that one component and ignoring the effects on the other components, or the system as a whole. Through the lens of suboptimisation it becomes clearer that the central issue underlying the unsustainability of our civilisation is that we are sub-optimising ourselves to death. This behaviour emerges from cultural values that disproportionately value the component part over the systemic whole. It’s important that … Read More

Why I’m starting again

I can remember the first time I decided I wanted to be a better person. I was in my early twenties, and I was applying for a job as a systems analyst with a company in Wellington. I was a reasonably confident young man, and I had positive expectations of getting the job. I didn’t! It turned out I was rejected because the psychometric tests I had undertaken indicated “selfish tendencies and an unwillingness to cooperate in larger groups”. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe I was that kind of person. I didn’t want to be that kind of person. … Read More

Share your eyes

This week I said goodbye to SmallWorlds.com; a venture I have invested more of my time in than any other single project in my life. It’s a timely moment to reflect on where I am in my life now, and how my priorities have changed in the last 10 years. I think it is natural that as you age you increasingly recognise your finiteness. This brings a certain focus to one’s perspective. 10 years ago I was satisfied with expressing & testing myself as an entrepreneur. Now however I find that’s not enough and I’ve realised that I can no … Read More

Chatbots and the power of conversation

A chatbot is a computer program, powered by rules, and sometimes artificial intelligence, that is designed to carry on conversations with humans. Chatbots are one of the digital technologies Rehabit Labs are using as part of our repertoire of behavioural influence tools. We think that the future of digital interfaces will involve a combination of the traditional visual user interface (UI) and conversational interfaces. There has been a massive proliferation of chatbot technology in the last year or so. This growing popularity is the result of a number of different causes including the growing popularity of messaging platforms (eg. Facebook … Read More

Persuasion matters

The rise of digital technology is transforming our lives. Digital products and programs to improve our lives are being generated at an incredible rate, and are getting better all the time. However, new digital technologies do not always realise their potential as people do not fully incorporate them into their lives. There is a gap between the promise of the technology and its actual impact. Something is missing; what is it? What is missing is the element of influence. We know the potential of what we have created but we need to share that with the potential users of our … Read More

Why behaviour fit trumps product-market fit

Where the product ends, the market begins Imagine your team have just finished building what you arguably consider the best product of its type in the world. Sure you are biased but this product is absolutely phenomenal and everyone in the team agrees that you have something really special on your hands. You and the team gather together in the largest meeting room in your offices, and suddenly you’re aware that everyone is looking expectantly at you. The sense of expectation is palpable because whereas everyone else’s initial job has finished, yours is just about to begin. Your job is … Read More