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  • Nathan Kirchner

Just Want it! Love it! Use it! Getting to appealing, sticky & addictive tech

"Why oh why won't they use it?", "Why don't they want it?", "It really helps them, why don't they want it?", "Can't they see what they are missing?"... and so on... I tend to agree, it seems people often sped the majority of their time looking down & don't seem willing or able to glance up at what might be a better way. Somewhat counter intuitively it actually makes sense. Those same people have a lot of things going on, a lot of things that need focus, a lot of things that need doing, more important things - seriously, is it any wonder there is little time to look at a new hose when the entire world is on fire?!?!

This view may be short sighted, it might even be self defeating, but it is how we end up with bridges, buildings, aeroplanes & all sorts of wonders. Yep, the argument definitely exists that if someone didn't 'look up' & dream in the first place none of those things would exist; it is a different kind of dreaming to incrementally improve them though. That is the segment I often find myself engaging with, people with a clear focus on- & understanding of- the job that needs to be done, people busy 'doing' & thoroughly distracted with the moving parts in front of them.


So how do we get those people to take note? How do we get them to just want it, to love it & to use it? How do we make our achieve the illusive appealing, sticky & addictive tech that grabs their attention & becomes an indispensable part of business as usual? I would very much like to say the answer came to me in an epiphany. Unfortunately the reality is that I spent a bit over a decade in in various professor roles in Universities including Stanford in the USA & the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. I surrounded myself with very smart people with significant entrepreneurial ambitions & successes. I thought deeply, I listened intensely, I discussed, debated, proposed, tested, re-proposed & re-tested various ideas until I converged on a rigorous set of foci for driving uptake - how to achieve appealing, sticky & addictive tech!


Unsurprisingly these fall into three primary focus areas; Attraction, Rejection & Habituation, which then again fall neatly into three elements. Together these nine foci build the Uptake Canvas to guide conceptual product / solution / service construction towards achieving more appealing, sticky & addictive tech - so without further ado here is the short version of way too much rambled thinking:


Uptake Canvas

  • Attraction

  • Immediate There must be clear direct utility for those with the tech in their hands. What benefit/s does the person/s actually using the thing get then & there?

  • Local There must be clear direct utility of the tech's in its extended vicinity. What benefit/s does the person/s around the person/s actually using the thing (the managers, supervisors, coordinators, team leaders, etc) get on the spot & later back in the office?

  • Global There must be clear utility for wider business / community. What benefit/s does the person/s back at HQ (the executives) get?


  • Rejection

  • Snap Triggers for Instant rejection; may be shallow rejection. What could cause person/s using the thing to suddenly put it down in favour of 'another way to get the job done'? 'This other thing / do nothing / the old way is better in this case'

  • Sharp Triggers for very stubborn & less relenting rejection. What could cause person/s using the thing to suddenly stop using the tech? 'This thing is not useful'

  • Accumulated Multiple triggers, that swell to rejection. What could cause person/s using the thing to growth to be reluctant to use the tech? 'This thing is getting on my nerves & just not worth the effort'


  • Habituation

  • Rely Won't leave home without it! Users ‘Need it!’. What would cause person/s to turn their car around to go back home & get it if they forgot it?

  • Ignore Users lack a strong feeling for or away... simply blasé. How do we make a deep connection with person/s?

  • Refuse Users have decided that the tech is counter productive. How do we keep that connection this side of creepy so that person/s don't feel like they are giving up more than they get?


This is a thought guide only. There isn't need for everything, more is a good thing generally, but think balance! Think about the trade offs person/s are willing & happy to make. E.G. People aren't too happy with the idea of being tracked constantly but we happily take our mobile phones with us everywhere we go. Sure they are tracking devices, but they are sooooo useful for sooooo many things, right?!?!


<the ubiquitous 'honest question'> 'Do I really need to consider all of these things?' My response to this is generally a little sharp. It goes something like 'you are an adult, you can do whatever you want'. I think this is because the attitude - although seemingly very common - rubs me a bit the wrong way. It costs very little to consider the elements of the Uptake Canvas & doing so generally leads to one of two paths: 1) My product / solution / service could be stronger in terms of _______, or 2) It seems like _______ is not applicable in our specific case.


<the insight> I've invested the hours converting rhetoric, knowledge, ideas & best practices into something readably digestible; make it your own, shape it to you specifics, exploit the cheat sheet! Spending just a bit of time to think through the nine foci points of the Uptake Canvas generally empowers one to achieve more appealing, sticky & addictive tech!

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