Sep 25, 2020
Today I’m very excited to be
sitting down with Bec Weeks, co-founder of the app
Her co-founders include Sendhil
Mullainathan who has taught traditional and behavioral economics at
MIT, Harvard, and The University of Chicago, and Michael Norton,
another Harvard professor and part of the Harvard Behavioral
Insights Group, he also previously taught at MIT and co-authored a
book called Happy Money,
The Science of Smarter Spending. Bec got her MBA in behavioral science,
entrepreneurship, and social impact from Harvard University. The
whole Pique crew is clearly amazing!
I had such a lovely time
chatting with Bec and could tell from our first conversation that
we would be fast friends. She is doing such cool things (and as
silly as it is, she has some stellar rose gold headphones that I
totally want...long time listeners know I love rose gold!) Beyond
that of course, I love the cool things she and the rest of the
Pique team are doing to help people use habits in a smart way to
improve their lives.
How are they doing that exactly?
Listen and read on my friend...
- [00:43] Today I’m very excited to be sitting
down with Bec Weeks, co-founder of the app Pique.
- [03:18] I love the cool things Bec and the rest
of the Pique team are doing to help people use habits in a smart
way to improve their lives.
- [04:18] Before that, a bit about her. Bec is
from Australia. She started her career very briefly in law before
she moved to management consulting and on to the Behavioral
Economics Team of the Australian Government
- [06:39] There is a really big behavioral
community in Australia and it is growing every
- [07:42] She shares about a project she was part
of at BETA which focused on the problem of doctors overprescribing
antibiotics. Another memorable project about reducing
discrimination in hiring practices.
- [09:51] The importance of testing was a key
- [11:05] Things are shifting all the time. A
nudge applied ten years ago doesn’t necessarily work
- [12:38] Experiments that fail to produce
results still need to be public so they add to the evidence base of
things that do and do not work.
- [15:35] Pique is their attempt to take useful
findings from psychology and present them to use and inspire an
app. It lets others learn about the concept, experience the
concept, and live the concept in their life in a small
- [16:17] Pique’s main goal is to help people be
more in touch with their thoughts (including self-awareness) as
well as how they interact with others.
- [17:05] Humans crave novelty so they wanted to
make sure Pique incorporated variety and different things to do.
This keeps people coming back to try something
- [19:13] The habit is exercising the curiosity,
experimentation, and exploration muscles.
- [20:26] The simplest change can make it so you
are innovative and creative for the rest of the
- [22:08] The best time to Pique differs from
person to person and often even moment to moment.
- [24:11] They have built-in reminders in the app
to complete the daily exercises and also the opportunity to
schedule a comeback reminder.
- [25:02] There is a lot of humor sprinkled
within the app. They want it to be helpful and
- [27:14] You will do each of these little
moments and hopefully get something small out of each of them, but
when you keep doing them they build on one another and you
see bigger results.
- [29:21] If you can provide a personalized
experience for someone then they are more likely to get the benefit
and come back. You want people to use it and get great
- [31:47] Once you complete the few beginning
questions you land at a page with a selection of packs sorted for
- [33:02] Some packs currently in the app are
Conversations, Time, Mind Wandering, Fan the Flame (connecting with
your partner), and Rituals.
- [35:44] A lot of us have things we are not
quite aware of that have ritualistic power. Some of these have been
lost whilst at home and some of them we have been able to keep
during the pandemic--why that matters.
- [37:14] Other current/upcoming packs include
Decision Making, Connecting with Friends, and Boosting the Bond.
They are always adding new content.
- [39:10] The idea of moments is to help you do
those things and see what works and resonates with
- [41:58] Some of the things we have lost are
obvious and some not as obvious. Taking time to think about what
things have been lost and thinking about how we can add them
back--even if it is in a different way--is very
- [43:19] The opposite of distraction is traction
(via Nir Eyal, episode link below).
- [45:13] When thinking about habits, many of us
think about changing them but it is also important to think about
how you can use the power of habits to help people introduce
- [45:45] Pique is perfectly packaged into bite
sized pieces that can help your brain to feel good and give you a
mental boost. Consider this your poque to download Pique! (once you do, let us know on social media using
the links below)
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