I love this story so much:

The brilliance of the cash register was that it automated ethical behavior by making stealing practically impossible. Rather than trying to change the motivations of his employees, Patterson used technology to make the preferred behavior automatic.

I don’t even care if it’s true or not (it probably is, but, I still don’t care…) as the point still hits me pretty dang hard: Using technology to automate preferred (positive) behavior.

This is one of the very critical things that my team are thinking through as we birth a new software experience that aligns community and relationships with decentralized protocols and cryptocurrency. There are a ton of behaviors, especially around trading and transacting, that we can automate for the community that is almost universally preferred.

But there are more difficult (and more important) behaviors and decisions that we want all of our community to make but that require a lot more work and are almost (!) impossible to completely automate.

For instance, strongly suggesting that our users use the 2-factor authentication / verification is something we can do through user experience and our user interface but we can’t force anyone to put in their phone number or activate a much-more secure 3rd party app:

Stay woke!

But that’s a problem to solve and there are many ways by and through which we can incentivize users to move towards better individual and corporate behavior. This specific example is actually perfect because a more secure account is better for the community member and for the community and network as a whole.

Despite this net-net positive benefit… folks will still ignore it. Again, that’s our problem to solve and I’m excited to figure it out.

Not hard… seriously. 👀

And maybe… just maybe… we can automate it (and many more things) into positive habits.


Also published on Medium.