Nov 27, 2020
Today I am so excited to
introduce you to Matt Wallaert, author of Start at the End: How to Build Products that
Create Change. One of
my favorite quotes from Matt is one that shows how we are kindred
spirits. He says, “If behavior is your outcome and science your
process, you’re a behavioral scientist. No Ph.D.
Matt was one of the first
behavioral scientists to leave academia to work in industry, which
he has done for over 15 years now. He was head of behavioral
science at Microsoft, the first chief behavioral officer in the
healthcare industry while at Clover Health, and has done tons of
awesome projects along the way (some of which you will learn about
in today’s episode).
During our conversation, we
discuss lots of concepts that have past episodes on the show,
including those on anchoring, relativity, how to finally change
your behavior, how to experiment, and many more
- [00:43] Today I am so excited to introduce you
to Matt Wallaert, author of Start at the End: How to Build Products that
- [03:28] Matt shares his story and how he got
interested in behavioral science.
- [05:06] After taking a second psychology class
in college, he became addicted to science and started doing a lot
of applied work.
- [07:56] He left Clover Health in March and
ended up moving to California for a year of
- [09:41] He has decided in his next role that he
wants to spend most of his time pivoting an organization to
- [11:01] Advances in data science and user
research have prepared younger project managers to fully embrace
- [13:12] People often don’t think of the
implications of the things that they say.
- [13:30] Every industry has its own beliefs
about what can’t be changed (listen to episode 126 for Melina’s
tips on fixing this in your organization).
- [14:51] Behavioral science can be used in good
ways and in bad ways (ethics matter!).
- [16:49] It is really hard to write a complete
behavioral statement from the beginning.
- [17:17] Matt shares about the GetRaised project
he worked on.
- [19:04] Bias creeps in when we start to do
ratings of performance.
- [20:28] The difference between junior
behavioral scientists and more senior behavioral scientists is just
experience. Anyone can learn the framework.
- [22:08] A lot of communication is just quick
analogy making. It is the ability to find out what someone is
interested in and relate that to the thing you are
- [24:37] Our brain is using the same rules and
concepts whether we are deciding to litter or choosing a brand of
- [25:37] When you try to replicate a lab study
in real life sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The key
is that you tried it small before you shared it with everybody.
(Get Melina’s tips for creating your own experiments in episode
- [26:47] Science is the testing of all
assumptions. Diversity can help identify an
- [28:08] Behavioral science is a
- [28:59] Academic behavioral science is about
of the way things are. Applied
behavioral science is the changing of the way things
- [30:20] Almost all misunderstandings across
cultural and other kinds of borders are due to a misunderstanding
of the pressures that affect that other persons’ life. It almost
always makes sense if you understand the context.
- [32:06] Melina shares Steve Wendel’s story
about a fish in the sand (hear more from Steve in episode
- [34:33] It is easier to have a discussion with
the people that we can relate to than to have a more difficult
- [35:36] Matt says, “If behavior is your outcome
and science your process, you’re a behavioral scientist. No Ph.D.
- [36:27] Behavioral science thrives when lots of
people are doing it and doing it a little better every day. If it
does not put behavior as an outcome, it is not behavioral
- [37:05] Behavioral science is about creating a
specific outcome in advance and then using science as a
- [39:46] Get your own copy of Matt’s
Start at the End: How to Build
Products that Create Change.
- [42:32] Don’t forget to take advantage of
the year-end sale going on now.
Thanks for listening. Don’t
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