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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Mar 6, 2020

I am very excited to introduce you to Samuel Salzer, founder of the super awesome resource Habit Weekly. He provides content via a newsletter and LinkedIn every week with lots of great updates in the behavioral world. There are links for job openings in behavioral science around the globe, upcoming conferences, top podcasts and articles of the week – it is a really fantastic resource I recommend everyone subscribe to.

Today, we discuss how Samuel became interested in behavioral science and his interest in habit formation. We also talk about not creating content for the sake of creating content. Samuel discovered firsthand that if you create what people actually want, they will ask you for more. This is so applicable in business. Find out what people actually want and give it to them. Put good stuff out into the world and people will want to engage with you. 

Show Notes:

  • [03:03] Samuel has always been an entrepreneur and started his first business when he was 16.
  • [03:51] He moved from Sweden to Australia to study accounting and economics. He also started doing research on behavioral economics.
  • [04:34] This opened his eyes to the nuance of human decision-making.
  • [05:35] He also wanted to use this knowledge to help his mother establish a meditation habit.
  • [06:38] He started studying the science of habit formation, behavioral science, and psychology. 
  • [07:37] Samuel is his first test subject, and he does his share of self-experimentation. 
  • [08:44] He helps clients create behavior change for good.
  • [09:31] You are succeeding if you create value for your customers and a solution for their problem.
  • [10:55] Samuel likes to focus on the underlying principles of what he is trying to do.
  • [12:29] Samuel likes the concept of friction: both decreasing and increasing it. 
  • [13:16] There are moments when it's beneficial to increase friction. You can strategically increase friction to eliminate negative habits.
  • [16:20] Samuel is fascinated by habits and how they are formed. There are also ways to boost behaviors. Such as loss aversion or framing behaviors to make them more motivating.
  • [17:07] Habits can have a trigger and a reward or consequence. There can be a negative (or positive) consequence after a behavior.
  • [20:25] We often have habits or things we do that are designed to remove a negative. 
  • [22:53] The concept of "eating the frog" or doing the hard thing first.
  • [25:43] Samuel started sharing links on LinkedIn. This eventually evolved into Habit Weekly. It's now a mailing list that sends content related to behavioral design on a weekly basis.
  • [28:04] You know you found something that people really want if they are reaching out to you asking you to create a mailing list.
  • [30:09] Samuel works to make sure that anyone interested in behavioral design has the best resources throughout the week.
  • [33:26] Accurate research and due diligence are very important to Samuel.
  • [34:02] Samuel is excited about the future of behavioral design. In his opinion, the field is in the adolescent stage. The mature stage will be more about the process.
  • [36:44] He's excited about being able to take all the tools and components and using them together to accomplish great things. 
  • [39:46] Samuel's super power or wish would be to see the world through other people's eyes. That's part of what has drawn him into his work. A good book or movie can show the world from another person's perspective.

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

Links and Resources: