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Inertia effect — Nr. 112
Issue 112: Making change is hard. Take into account the concept of "inertia" when you want to persuade people next time.
I faced a challenge when I led a design team at Bukalapak. We had no structure for requesting icons and illustrations, so team members contacted illustrators through personal messages or verbal communication. This made it difficult to manage all the requests.
I remembered that people at Shopify use Github for this purpose, so I suggested it. However, people did not like it because (1) they had to change their habits - from sending simple messages to making structured ticket requests in Github, and (2) Github was a tool that they were not familiar with.
This is inertia. People are unwilling to change when the effort exceeds the perceived benefit. Make sense, right? But we often forget this.
Takeaways for you:
01 - It's best to make a gradual change. When you want to change a process, change one part at a time whenever possible. Changing everything at once requires a big effort and creates big inertia.
02 - Show the compelling benefits. People are more likely to adopt something if they see a compelling benefit. For example, a new browser like Arc has successfully gained adoption because it shows promising value. Remember this concept when you build a product, people might be lazy to switch to your product from their existing solution.
03 - Persuade individuals instead of groups. The inertia is greater when you try to force a change in a group setting. I find it easier to persuade individuals and find people who understand the value of change.
Behind the scene
I just moved to a new place. I love my current studio. It’s still messy and empty, but I love being alone, staying focused, and getting things done.
One quote to ponder
“The world will ask you who you are, and if you don't know, the world will tell you.” — Carl Jung.
Sometimes we operate on autopilot, going through our daily lives without stopping to ask ourselves important questions. Where are we going? Is this the future I want for myself? Am I on track?
Setting aside five minutes daily to reflect on these questions can be incredibly helpful.
P.S. Thanks for reading – you're awesome!
P.P.S. I'm trying out a new format today. What do you think? I hope this new format will make my newsletter more predictable. I’ll number the issue to make it easy to refer to.
Schedule: I’ll send out one issue every Saturday morning.
P.P.P.S. Since the Product Discovery Workshop cohort #3 has already sold out, now I’m opening the registration for cohort #4. Consider joining this workshop if you’re building a new product and want a framework to navigate its complexity.
Note: If you’re English-speaking, please email me; I’ll open a dedicated workshop if I have ten people. The price is US$160 (I know two people who want this, so eight more to go). I can schedule 15 minutes to further explain it to you, so email me.