Addicted to Giving?

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Reading a tech crunch article by @nireyal on habit forming products has brought to the surface some thoughts that I acted on many moons ago but never articulated (http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/31/is-some-tech-too-addictive/?ncid=tcdaily)

We are trying to get people to habitually give as part of their every day lives which means making it as easy, rewarding and pleasurable as possible

There is an extent to which you can have ‘too much of a good thing!’ I wouldn’t want someone to use Givey to donate if it was going to cause them personal financial problems especially if was driven from a place addiction or people forgetting the value of their gift altogether, in a ‘What the Hell!!’ Moment

(See this article : http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/24/this-column-change-life-what-the-hell-effect)

“Companies who know when a user is overusing their product have both an economic imperative and a social responsibility to identify addicts and intervene.” – Nir Eyal”

I agree with Nir and even in attempting to drive good behaviours we must critique the value of our efforts and this is why we focus on giving ‘something’ everyday.

There are deep philosophical reasons why I believe engaging in a giving lifestyle is vital to our wellbeing and goes way beyond ‘Charitable Donations’ but it is a good place to start and drive these behaviour sets from.

Laying the Philosophical reasons aside for the purpose of this post and looking purely at the behaviour drivers, we needed to think carefully about who we wanted to be the winners in Givey’s giving community.

If we focus on the ‘amounts donated’ then we reward those who earn more money and can make big one off donations.

If we celebrated ‘recurring passive donors (Setup and forget)’ then there maybe very little active engagement in the givers consciousness

If we focused on ‘number of donations’ then we may be celebrating binge donors who want to give 100 times in a day to hack their profile to look good over the year.

We wanted the winner in the Givey community to be a person who authentically and openly engages with the online and physical world around them and allows themselves to be moved by issues they encounter and choose to take action on a daily basis.

We exist to reinforce the link between Empathy and Action in our modern society.

Our goal with Givey is to reduce barriers and increase incentives to complete a ‘real donation’ once someone has been authentically moved to contribute.

I believe what we measure defines our culture, defines what is cool and ultimately, how we define ourselves. Whether we adhere or rebel, we are affected, so have to consider carefully what we measure as it will end up defining us.

At the heart of Givey is a metric called ‘Wavelength’ or λ  

A Givey users wavelength is the length of time in days since their last Givey donation Moment

If a user ‘Binges’ and makes 20 donations in a day, only one will count towards their ‘wavelength’

Equally a donation of £1 or £1000 has the same value when calculating the metric we celebrate most, A Givey Users Wavelength.

This is our attempt to drive no more, and no less than the behaviour we want to see more of in the world. Engaging in an active giving culture in which we give a little every day.

There are 3 simple factors I believe the pursuit of which are paramount to the underpinning a progressive global society.

  1. Freedom
  2. Safety
  3. Education

Please check out @shepleyGreen work at the Social Progress Imperative as I learn heaps from him and they go into a bunch more very helpful detail.

Addiction looks to an external source of energy or escapism to feed our wellbeing. It inhibits our freedom and sense of autonomy and responsibility by giving that right to other sources.

I hate how addiction affects people! It limits principle 1, our freedom so I can’t allow it to be a part of the product we are building, even if it would be ‘Good for Business’ to have ‘Bingy Users’

Having said all this I Googled ‘Addicted to Giving’ and found this :) I enjoyed it

Enjoy! Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts….

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