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Juan David's Newsletter - September 21, 2020
The Bananas of Market Research, Game Theory, and an idea for an Education Startup
It’s been a month since I started college! When I was deciding what to study, I asked many people to share their perspectives and advice. One of them was the economist Tyler Cowen who told me short but powerful words, “Engineering requires a high degree of dedication.”
Dr. Cowen couldn’t be more right. The last four weeks have been packed with lots of studying and focus. Is that a good thing? I don’t know but it’s a tradeoff for sure. I need more free time to just think and do nothing (that’s where great ideas come from, out of boredom).
This week’s essay is about Market Research and how if you’re truly innovating, you shouldn’t do it because people don’t know what they want. I also introduce you to my 🐒 friend🍌.
Welcome to the ones of you who have joined us since last Sunday! If you’re reading this but haven’t subscribed, join hundreds of curious and fascinating people by subscribing here!
Don’t forget to check out the Curiosities 🔮🎆🧪 section below!
Market Research is Bananas
If you prefer, you can read this essay on my website.
Monkey: Bananas, please.
Human: (hands out a smartphone).
Monkey: I’m hungry and I can’t eat this piece of glass. Come on!
Human: Did you know that you could order any food from anywhere in the world using that piece of glass, including the tastiest bananas?
Monkey: (looks at the phone and starts ordering).
To be continued….
Do you know what you want? What if I told you you don't know what you want?
Many companies and entrepreneurs are infected by a virus called market research. Asking people what they want or what they want a solution for is like asking a monkey if they want a smartphone.
The monkey would just say, “I want a better banana.” But the monkey didn’t know that with a smartphone he could order the best food ever (yes, including bananas).
Methodologies such as the Lean Startup influenced how we approach the innovation process by relying too much on the user and consumer input, rather than focusing on the most underlying pains people have. Incremental factors such as speed, storage, and effectiveness won’t lead to creating original and groundbreaking ideas.
If Henry Ford had asked people what they wanted to move in space, people would have said, “A faster horse.” People would have never said that they wanted a car.
First things first. Let’s differentiate the two types of innovation that we’re dealing with in this essay:
1. Startup Elevator Pitch
I made this video talking about an idea for an education startup. Watch it and let me know what you think.
2. Fireworks Have Become Brighter
If you think life has become more colorful, you’d be right. Not only do TVs have colors, but fireworks have also become brighter and more intense.
The formation of metal chlorides during the burning process. The gaseous metal chloride molecules are way more vibrant than the atoms themselves.
3. Future is Faster than You Think Book
Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler have written many books that have shown me the wonders of having an exponential mindset. This was an incredible book that described possible waves to catch.
My favorite part was when they talked about the different types of technologies that are converging as well as the many inspiring stories of the entrepreneurs developing flying cars, quantum computers, and virtual worlds.
Check out the book HERE.
4. Game Theory Game
I was explaining to a friend the concept of game theory and I shared with her one of the best ways to learn about the concept with a simple animation/game.
Check it out HERE and learn about game theory.
5. What Should Governments Have Done Before COVID-19?
Not an easy question but how about we look at the situation with statistical lenses?
Read this essay I wrote to learn more about how to use probabilities when making decisions.
Read it HERE.
Don’t ask, “What’s in it for me?”
Ask, “Is it even for me?”
Have a great week,
Juan David Campolargo