Thoughts on psychological innovation and the badass honeybadger

By 24/01/2020July 20th, 2021All, Behavioural Science Insights

I had the honour to do the opening keynote at the UBX19 conference in Munich a couple of weeks ago. The title of the keynote was “The future of innovation is psychological, not technological“.

In this talk, I wanted to make a case for a more pragmatic definition of innovation. In my view, innovation is nothing more or less than trying out new shit to generate growth. And when you approach the innovation challenge from this angle, it’s evident to me that we’re too obsessed with technology to look for new ideas. In my keynote, I argue that there’s massive untapped potential for “trying out new shit” when you look into psychology.

Here’s the video (30 minutes)

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The honey badger is pretty badass.

A couple of years ago, Robin Sloan launched “Fish, a tap essay“. The essay is a manifesto about the difference between liking something and loving something on the internet. The core idea of the piece is that reading or watching something twice is a radical act of love. There’s so much new content that tries to grab our attention, that we tend to forget that mastery and appreciation only start to emerge from second or third readings. This is a powerful idea that influenced me a lot.

Speaking of which, I honestly think that there hasn’t been a year gone by without me re-sharing the honey badger video through social media. In my opinion, it’s – hands down – the funniest thing ever on Youtube. A guy named Randall who does a hilarious voice-over of a documentary-fragment on the honey badger, the most fearless animal in the animal kingdom.

I find great pleasure in the surprising effect of mixing two completely different genres: When you put the gay hairdresser-chitchat style on top of the nature-documentary genre, the result is, well, this:

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