Apr 30, 2021
Today I am very excited to have
Jon Levy and I am also very excited for our big milestone. This is
the 150th episode of The Brainy Business podcast. Can you believe
it? We now have well over 350,000 downloads in more than 170
countries (thank you, everyone, for tuning in and sharing with your
You are going to learn so much
interesting stuff from this conversation, I absolutely loved
chatting with Jon. It’s no wonder with all the practice he has had
amazing interactions with some of the most accomplished and diverse
people on the planet: Grammy award winners, Nobel laureates,
editors in chief, Olympic gold medalists, actors. You name it and
they have probably accepted an invitation to dinner at Jon’s place.
You can learn all about how he has done this and the true genius
behind these fantastic interactions and getting to really know and
trust people in our conversation today.
- [00:06] In today’s episode I’m
very excited to introduce you to Jon Levy, author of the new
- [02:07] The most downloaded
episode of the year so far was episode number 136 on temptation
bundling (fitting, since Dr. Katy Milkman will be here next week to
discuss her new book! Link below).
- [04:39] Jon and Melina’s books
are coming out on the same day, May 11th. Funny bundling ideas.
- [06:40] Jon shares about his
background and some of his favorite studies.
- [08:41] He spends most of his
life on the application of research. There is so much we have
learned about human behavior, but we very rarely use
- [09:46] Jon shares his
experiences with inviting accomplished strangers to his house for
- [12:01] His objective was to
bring people together and bond them in hopes that it will improve
their lives and hopefully they could have a larger impact on
- [14:16] The more novel
something is, the more we are enticed to explore and understand
- [15:33] Because of the IKEA
effect, they knew if they could get people to assemble, build, or
work together on something, they will bond more with each other and
care about the company.
- [17:23] Applied behavioral
science and academic behavioral science both have their places and
they are both really important.
- [20:07] You don’t want to be a
sponsor. You want to be a partner.
- [21:20] Be a partner on two
things that people will really remember instead of 10 random
sponsorships. It is going to be so much more valuable and impactful
- [24:07] In the beginning Jon
started by inviting the people he knew that were very impressive
and then he kept asking for recommendations. After some time, he
did hire a research team to find people to
- [25:37] The key is
understanding what are the behaviors or interests of the general
group you want to invite.
- [28:26] If you can curate an
environment with other high-profile people they will go far out of
their way to attend.
- [29:18] It is this opportunity
to meet interesting people, a novel experience, and something that
is generous so they don’t have to be worried that you are after
- [31:34] As a general rule, they
have one person per industry, a maximum of two.
- [32:37] At the dinners, they
can’t talk about their work so they end up having the kind of
conversations that you have with your best friends. These
conversations are a bit more vulnerable or intimate in your
- [34:14] Researchers in general
view trust as being made up of three things: competence, honesty,
and benevolence. Though they are not equally weighted. We value
benevolence more than honesty, and honesty more than competence.
(Unfortunately, businesses hire people the exact opposite way -
shift this practice to stand out and have a better
- [36:27] By leveraging the IKEA
effect these vulnerability loops happen quickly. We need to be on
the lookout for people sending out vulnerability loop
- [37:07] Trust does not precede
vulnerability. We have to be willing to put ourselves out there if
we want to have profound trust.
- [38:45] Because of loss
aversion we feel twice as much pain for when something doesn’t work
out as the pleasure of when it does.
- [41:09] Networking evokes
feelings of being dirty because it is not a natural way for people
to connect. Instead, we want to look at how we make
- [41:57] Usually, shared
interests or connections cause people to be friends. Participate in
joint activities you actually enjoy.
- [44:27] Melina share’s about
quarantine activities with her family. Fun quips about Mjolnir.
(Bonus points if you know what that means without looking it up!
- [45:38] Relationships will
really define the quality of your life. Be willing to be a little
- [47:33] When you have an
activity as the social catalyst, it feels significantly less
- [50:44] Melina shares her
- [52:16] Melina’s first
book, What Your Customer
Wants and Can’t Tell You is officially on presale and available
on Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes
Book Depository, and Booktopia. Buy today and be one of the first to receive
a copy when it officially launches May 11, 2021.
Thanks for listening. Don’t
forget to subscribe on
Android. If you like
what you heard, please leave a
review on iTunes
and share what you liked about the
I hope you love
everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was
independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you
know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That
means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon
or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or
More from The Brainy Business:
Get the Books Mentioned on (or related to) this
Connect with Jon:
Check out (and preorder!)
What Your Customer Wants and
Can’t Tell You on Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes
Book Depository, and Booktopia