Death by a Single Pinprick

Unless you are a balloon, one single pinprick should not worry you.   In ancient China, death by a thousand pinpricks was both a method of torture and a means of execution reserved for the most heinous of crimes.    The author of this blog has personally been  pricked over a thousand times and is still alive and well.  Ah, the pricks has to happen in a short amount of time to be effective, you’d say.  And you’d be right.    Much has been said lately about the nudge theory based on the book and thesis by the same name.  The study of which, gained the father of  Nudge, the Nobel prize in economics in 2017. 

Nudge-Improving-Decisions-Health-Happiness
Nudge-Improving Decisions Health Happiness

Does It Work and How?

In my experience;  as with allot of things,  it can be “willed” to work.    Through grit and tenacity anything can be used to one’s advantage.  The truth is: a 1% nudge is only going to get you 1% down the road.  Half the time that 1% on its own will revert back in a short span.  As in our Chinese torture example, right off the bat you need to make hundreds of little nudges simultaneously for it to be effective.    Sounds like allot of work.   Correct.  Is it worth though, doing hundreds even thousands of little things?  Why not just make one huge move? 

The Secret of Nudge

In a certain high level of competition; be it athletics or industry,  the huge move of one competitor is normal offset by the same or similar effort of other competitors.     There is only that many big moves that one can make.  Therefore, in order to gain a competitive advantage over the competition,   economist and sport trainers alike, started looking at ways of leveraging many consistent small improvements.

Easier Said Than Done

Nudge and systems thinking should be synonymous.  Simply because this large amount of small but constant interactions should be tracked, monitored and tweaked in real time to be effective.    Being a video guy in the R of SA, I’ve been jaded allot.    Clients get a website.  They think it is the be-all and end-all.  But almost nothing happens.  They get SEO.  Almost nothing happened.  They hear video and SMM is all the rage, they get that, too slowly things start to happen.  A single pinprick will destroy a balloon, but it will hardly harm a man. 

Here is a nice info graphic:

Nudge-Theory examples
Nudge-Theory examples

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