Thursday, August 29, 2013

Choices, Choices, Choices

I was crocheting some dish scrubbies (I made the one in the picture!) and watching Ted Talks. I watched two videos in a row that seemed to almost contradict each other, but not quite.

Malcolm Gladwell tells the story of Howard Moskowitz and how Howard revolutionized the food industry starting with spaghetti sauce- click here to watch the video. Howard found out that there was not one perfect spaghetti sauce, there were actually several perfect spaghetti sauces, including chunky. The spaghetti sauce people had been doing surveys trying to find out what people wanted in a sauce, but nobody quite knew how to word it. Howard's taste tests revealed that lots of people preferred chunky but didn't even realize it. So they rolled out a bunch of chunky spaghetti sauce and it was a big hit!

Barry Schwartz talks about how people think they want lots and lots of choices, but actually having a plethora of choices doesn't make them happy -click here to watch the video.

I've read several times that when dealing with toddlers, give them two choices and they will be happy because they get to pick, and you will be happy because you set limits. Ask them, do you want pancakes or waffles? They pick one and you make it. Ask them, what do you want for breakfast? They'll probably say they don't know or say they want breakfast burritos, but you don't want to make breakfast burritos.

So people want choices, but they want limited choices, and a choice that they want. Ask a kid if he wants eggs or waffles, and if he doesn't like either he won't be happy. Give people what they want in small variety and you will have happy people. Be specific because people know what they want even if they can't find the words to express their thoughts.

A few simple and good choices will make everyone happy!

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