"Comfort makes you weaker. We need some variability, some stressors. Not too much, but just enough." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"Nature will eventually do what nature has always done. It will respond in a self-stabilizing manner over the long term with moderate variability over multi-decade periods and with occasional significant variability over the short term." - John H. Sununu
"companies making products exhibiting 'infinite variability' - experiences that maintain user interest by sustaining variability with use. For example, games played to completion offer finite variability while those played with others people have higher degrees of infinite variability because the players themselves alter the game-play throughout. World of Warcraft, the world's most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game, still captures the attention of more than 10 million active users eight years after its first release.
-" - Hooked
"In particular, Australia, because of its ancient geography, soil profile and distinctive weather patterns, is more adversely affected by climate variability than some other continents." - Peter Garrett
"Experiences with finite variability become less engaging because they eventually become predictable. Businesses with finite variability are not inferior per se, they just operate under different constraints. They must constantly churn out new content and experiences to cater to their consumers' insatiable desire for novelty.
-" - Hooked
"Scientists tend to focus on what they don't know more than what they do know. And there are a lot of things we still don't know about the climate. But we know the difference between climate variability and climate change, and right now the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is well outside the variability pattern - and that's quite quantifiable." - Thomas Friedman
"The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slow down in the growth rate of net climate forcing." - James Hansen
""Risk means more things can happen than will happen." It is not standard deviation. It is not variability. It is this sense that the future events are highly variable and unknowable that gives us the best sense for risk." - Elroy Dimson
"There's enough evidence that variation in sexual orientation is more a function of genes than of environment and for that reason alone, it should be accepted as but another example of human variability." - David Elkind
"Without variability, we figure out what will happen next and become less excited by the experience. The same rules that apply to puppies also apply to products. To hold our attention, products must have an ongoing degree of novelty.
-" - Hooked
"Variability is the law of life, and as no two faces are the same, so no two bodies are alike, and no two individuals react alike and behave alike under the abnormal conditions which we know as disease." - William Osler
"When plugged in, the least elaborate computer can be relied on to work to the fullest extent of its capacity. The greatest mind cannot be relied on for the simplest thing; its variability is its superiority." - Jacques Barzun
"The reduced variability of small populations is not always due to accidental gene loss, but sometimes to the fact that the entire population was started by a single pair or by a single fertilized female. These 'founders' of the population carried with them only a very small proportion of the variability of the parent population. This 'founder' principle sometimes explains even the uniformity of rather large populations, particularly if they are well isolated and near the borders of the range of the species." - Ernst Mayr
"The facts of variability, of the struggle for existence, of adaptation to conditions, were notorious enough; but none of us had suspected that the road to the heart of the species problem lay through them, until Darwin and Wallace dispelled the darkness." - Thomas Huxley
"Technology tends toward avoidance of risks by investors. Uncertainty is ruled out if possible. People generally prefer the predictable. Few recognize how destructive this can be, how it imposes severe limits on variability and thus makes whole populations fatally vulnerable to the shocking ways our universe can throw the dice." - Frank Herbert
"You want to favor systems that benefit from error, disorder, variability and things like that. You want to favor these systems and unfortunately, when - there's something I call the Soviet Illusion. The more the government becomes intrusive, the more things have to follow a script, and it can't handle this kind of system." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"The modern joint stock firm is the outcome of innumerable decisions made by individual entrepreneurs, owners and managers. For these decision makers the choices among alternatives were limited and the outcomes uncertain, but almost always there were choices. Despite the variability of these individual decisions, taken cumulatively they produced clear patterns of institutional change" - Alfred D. Chandler, Jr.
"Cultural diversity and cultural change are desirable and inevitable. We are cultural animals, someone without a culture is not human. But the cultures we possess vary enormously. Indeed, the variability, over time and space is the great evolutionary advantage of humanity. Instead of changing biologically over millennia, human beings can change culturally over decades" - Martin Wolf
"There are various non-statistical tools that have been typically developed by lean companies, notably by Toyota for minimizing variability in production, such as standardization, introduction of takt time, synchronization, shortening the total production lead time which I am fond of referring to as non statistical tools." - Masaaki Imai
"I think the impacts of 9/11 on academic freedom vary greatly depending on locale and time (softening with the passage of time), and even within the same community, and likely within the same schools. This variability makes it difficult to offer generalized responses without accompanying caveats." - Richard A. Falk
"Without variability we are like children in that once we figure out what will happen next, we become less excited by the experience. The same rules that apply to puppies also apply to products. To hold our attention, products must have an ongoing degree of novelty.
-" - Hooked
"Adding variability increased the frequency of the pigeons completing the intended action. Skinner's pigeons tell us a great deal about what helps drive our own behaviors. More recent experiments reveal that variability increases activity in the nucleus accumbens and spikes levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, driving our hungry search for rewards.[lxxiv] Researchers observed increased dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens in experiments involving monetary rewards as well as in a study of heterosexual men viewing images of attractive women's faces.[lxxv] Variable rewards can be found in all sorts of products and experiences that hold our attention. They fuel our drive to check email, browse the web, or bargain-shop. I propose that variable rewards come in three types: Tribe, hunt and self (figure 20). Habit-forming products utilize one or more of these variable reward types.
-" - Hooked
"By March 2012, Zynga's stock was flying high and the company was valued at over $10 billion. But by November of that same year, the stock was down over 80 percent. It turned out that Zynga's new games were not really new at all. The company had simply re-skinned FarmVille, and soon players had lost interest and investors followed suit. What was once novel and intriguing became rote and boring. The 'Villes' had lost their variability, and with it, their viability. As the Zynga story demonstrates, an element of mystery is an important component of continued user interest. Online games like FarmVille suffer from what I call 'finite variability' - an experience that becomes predictable after use.
-" - Hooked
"In the scale of life there is a gradual decline in physical variability, as the organism has gathered into itself resources for meeting the exigencies of changing external conditions; and that while in the mindless and motionless plant these resources are at a minimum, their maximum is reached in the mind of man, which, at length, rises to a level with the total order and powers of nature, and in its scientific comprehension of nature is a summary, an epitome of the world." - Chauncey Wright
"When I wrote a long story about the retreat of sea ice, I made clear it could go the other way for a while, and that doesn't mean we don't know that a warmer world will have less sea ice. It just means there's a lot of variability and people can pay too much attention to the big swings in one direction or the other." - Andrew Revkin
"Research shows that levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine surge when the brain is expecting a reward.[xi] Introducing variability multiplies the effect, creating a focused state, which suppresses the areas of the brain associated with judgment and reason while activating the parts associated with wanting and desire.[xii] Although classic examples include slot machines and lotteries, variable rewards are prevalent in many other habit-forming products.
-" - Hooked
"Gruenewald says his Bible App also offers an element of mystery and variability. 'One woman would stay up until just past midnight to know what verse she had received for her next day,' Gruenewald says. The unknown-in this case, which verse will be chosen for the reader and how it relates to their personal struggle-becomes an important driver of the reading habit.
-" - Hooked
"It has become very difficult for anyone to argue that observed global warming is natural variability. We have good reason for being able to say that the world will be warmer by about a quarter of a degree in the next decade. It's the same reason we had 10 years ago when we said that the 1990s would be warmer than the 1980s: The planet is out of equilibrium." - James Hansen
"Remember and Share - Variable Reward is the third phase of the Hook Model, and there are three types of variable rewards: tribe, hunt and self. - Rewards of the tribe is the search for social rewards fueled by connectedness with other people. - Rewards of the hunt is the search for material resources and information. - Rewards of the self is the search for intrinsic rewards of mastery, competence, and completion. - When our autonomy is threatened, we feel constrained by our lack of choices and often rebel against doing a new behavior. Psychologists call this 'reactance.' Maintaining a sense of user autonomy is a requirement for repeat engagement. - Experiences with finite variability become increasingly predictable with use and lose their appeal over time. Experiences that maintain user interest by sustaining variability with use exhibit infinite variability. - Variable rewards must satisfy users' needs, while leaving them wanting to re-engage with the product. *** Do This Now Refer to the answers you came up with in the last 'Do This Now' section to complete the following exercises: - Speak with five of your customers in an open-ended interview to identify what they find enjoyable or encouraging about using your product. Are there any moments of delight or surprise? Is there anything they find particularly satisfying about using the product? - Review the steps your customer takes to use your product or service habitually. What outcome (reward) alleviates the user's pain? Is the reward fulfilling, yet leaves the user wanting more? - Brainstorm three ways your product might heighten users' search for variable rewards using: - Rewards of the Tribe - gratification from others - Rewards of the Hunt - things, money or information - Rewards of the Self - mastery, completion, competency or consistency
-" - Hooked
"The statistical method is required in the interpretation of figures which are at the mercy of numerous influences, and its object is to determine whether individual influences can be isolated and their effects measured. The essence of the method lies in the determination that we are really comparing like with like, and that we have not overlooked a relevant factor which is present in Group A and absent from Group B. The variability of human beings in their illnesses and in their reactions to them is a fundamental reason for the planned clinical trial and not against it." - Austin Bradford Hill
"Our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change. The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year  can each be attributed to climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills." - James Hansen
"3. Variable Reward What distinguishes the Hook Model from a plain vanilla feedback loop is the hook's ability to create a craving. Feedback loops are all around us, but predictable ones don't create desire. The unsurprising response of your fridge light turning on when you open the door doesn't drive you to keep opening it again and again. However, add some variability to the mix - say a different treat magically appears in your fridge every time you open it - and voila, intrigue is created.
-" - Hooked
"The child has learned to predict the dog's behavior and no longer finds the pup quite as entertaining. By now, the child's mind is occupied with dump trucks, fire engines, bicycles, and new toys that stimulate the senses - until they too become predictable. Without variability, we are like children in that once we figure out what will happen next, we become less excited by the experience. The same rules that apply to puppies also apply to products. To hold our attention, products must have an ongoing degree of novelty.
-" - Hooked
"Although Breaking Bad owes a great deal of its success to its talented cast and crew, fundamentally the program utilized a simple formula to keep people tuning in. At the heart of every episode - and also across each season's narrative arc - is a problem the characters must resolve. For example, during an episode in the first season, Walter White must find a way to dispose of the bodies of two rival drug dealers. Challenges prevent resolution of the conflict and suspense is created as the audience waits to find out how the storyline ends. In this particular episode, White discovers one of the drug dealers is still alive and is faced with the dilemma of having to kill someone he thought was already dead. Invariably, each episode's central conflict is resolved near the end of the show, at which time a new challenge arises to pique the viewer's curiosity. By design, the only way to know how Walter gets out of the mess he is in at the end of the latest episode is to watch the next episode. The cycle of conflict, mystery and resolution is as old as storytelling itself, and at the heart of every good tale is variability. The unknown is fascinating and strong stories hold our attention by waiting to reveal what happens next. In a phenomenon called 'experience-taking,
-" - Hooked
| NEXT PAGE