I recently finished the book “Happy Money” by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, and thought it had some awesome takeaways. This book essentially analyzes how to get the most utility out of each dollar that you spend, which is an area that I think receives far too little attention. There seem to be a million books out there on how to make more money, but no one is thinking about their finances by analyzing the return on their purchases.
This book focused on 5 key messages that I am definitely going to apply when thinking about purchases in the future.
Buy Experiences - What stood out to me most in this chapter was how much more people will value experiences than they will value purchases of tangible items. The best example of this is shown when analyzing the continue returns of vacations when compared to the continued returns of a car. You only experience a vacation for a short period of time. However, the value of that vacation actually will increase over time. The reasoning behind this is that when you go on a vacation, you will make memories that will last a lifetime. Additionally, it’s been shown that as time passes, your memories of vacations will actually increase, since you’ll focus on the good times that you had on your trip, and you will gradually forget any negative aspects of the trip. Alternatively, when you buy a nice new car, you may think that the return will be higher since you can use the car every day, but studies have shown that this is incorrect. Over time it’s been shown that people who buy a car quickly return to the happiness levels that they had before buying the car.
Make it a Treat - This chapter focused on how indulging in a purchase repeatedly actually decreases the return on happiness that you get from making the purchase. For example, if you buy coffee every day two times a day, it’s no longer special, and you won’t really think much of it. However, if you hold off on buying coffee until you’re about to PTFO and you really need that caffeine to help you out, that coffee is going to make your world turn around.
Buy Time - In this chapter the ways that people exchange time for money was analyzed. My favorite example of this was analyzing how far out of their way people go to save a little bit of money on something like gas. They cited studies that show many Americans will drive 20 minutes out of their way to save 10 cents a gallon on gas. Obviously that is an extreme case, but In many of these situations, the juice really isn’t worth the squeeze. So it’s just good to really analyze those times when you’re going to cause a lot of extra work for yourself, just to save a few dollars.
Pay Now, Consume Later - This chapter says that you should always opt for situations where you pay for something a long time before you will get it, for a maximum return on happiness. I recently put this method into practice by buying a season pass for skiing. This had two main benefits for myself: First, I got to spend lots of time getting excited to go skiing. This was great for getting me through long days in the office when I was staring at my computer, since while at my desk, I could fantasize about how great going skiing was going to be. Second, it actually made my skiing experience more enjoyable since I didn’t have to shell out $100 right before getting on the lift. Instead, I was able to really enjoy a nice prolonged lunch with friends, instead of stressing about getting the maximum about of runs out of my $100 lift ticket.
Invest in Others - Finally, nothing provides more happiness than putting a smile on someones face. Now, it’s important that money isn’t just thrown mindlessly at various charities. Instead try to make it personal, so you can actually see those smiles. For example, maybe instead of donating money to One Laptop Per Child (my personal favorite charity of choice http://laptop.org/), you could instead get involved with the charity and help them set up rural communites themselves. It’s my dream to someday have the time and resources to do something like this.
Happy Spending :)
24 hours ago my buddy Oleg (twitter employee) texted me and told me to check out Vine. I downloaded it, posted a vine, and texted him back saying it’s stupid.
I change my mind about Vine. I was wrong to immediately pass it off as stupid. It’s an awesome app. Hell, I’ll even say that I love it. it’s the perfect logical next step for america’s snapchat obsessed youth. Facebook looks like a bunch of idiots for simply responding with their new poke app.
My only concern is: does it have staying power. I’m a bit worried that it won’t be able to catch on.
The two main chalenges that it faces:
1. I don’t want another feed to check, I already need to check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and foursquare every day, and I’m not sure that there is room for another one. Snapchat brilliantly avoids that problem by being a messaging platform and not a feed.
2. Will the network be able to grow. Vine is completely useless if only my tech savy (read: SF and CMU) friends use it. I need the normal people on it too for it to be indispensable (the people that live outside the bay area and didn’t go to an engineering centric school). One of the reasons I knew snapchat was going to be so big is that the first place I heard about it was from my 19 year old sister who goes to a state school. Not an SF clown, not hackernews, my sister.
I think Path was in the exact same position when they came out with their new app. Path had the slickest app with original and useful use cases, but I needed to check a new feed, and I my normal friends didn’t use it. Path has essentially failed to take off as I hoped because of those reasons. Only time will tell if Vine will suffer the same fate.
This analyst is basically arguing that you should sell apple stock because, html5 apps are going to take off, making apples awesome iOS app store less relevant.
I actually totally agree with this, html5 is the future and making a custom app for each mobile OS will become very archaic. The problem I have with his argument is his time scale. He claims that the repercussions of this movement from native apps to html5 is going to take place in the next 2 quarters. THAT’S INSANE! Yes I hate trying to write objective-c, and yes I think html5 is the future, but it’s a future that is at least 3 years away, if not longer. For at least the next 3 years, native apps are going to fully dominate the mobile landscape.
Although the potential for html5 web based mobile apps is awesome, it’s just not going to do it for right now. My reason for this is purely based on the present day capabilities of web based mobile apps, the problem with them being is that they can’t access enough of the phones hardware sensors at this time.
Let’s not sell them short though, for some web apps they are just as capable as their native app counterparts. I’ve seen web apps that can store huge amounts of background data, use location, and even access a phones accelerometer.
Another huge problem with this prediction is that web developers don’t use all of these features. For html5 to have any chance developers need to better utilize a phones capabilities. While phones can store data from a website, most of them don’t thus making the user wait for around 10 extra seconds just to get onto the web site. This is nonsense! The Financial Times does an awesome job at demonstrating how this can be done (the reading experience still can’t compare to that being done in the native app Flipboard, but maybe someday).
Most importantly, the two hardware features of phones that html5 apps need to find a way to access in order for them to succeed are being able to use a camera and being able to access a phones background processing so that they can run in the background (thus enabling them to send notifications). Once these two problems have been solved, I think that the usage of mobile web apps will explode.
Pressing play in @Spotify for iPhone and then having my desktop client pause is so gratifying. I wonder if this was planned as a feature or if it was conceived in order to prevent multiple people from sharing a single account.
I originally sent this as an email to one of my friends who just started using path, but I thought I’d share my love of path with the world:
just incase you didn’t read up on why they created path. The idea is that you’re friends with everyone that you’ve ever met ever on facebook, and this isn’t good because you don’t actually care about all 1000 of these people. This theory is based on dunbar’s number, which basically says that humans don’t have the mental compactly to keep track of over 150 relationships (basically it’s unfathomable that you could truly trust 150 people). I find this concept really interesting which is why I’m so passionate about path. also I think it has huge potential since my facebook and twitter feeds are just becoming way too overwhelming, and this attempts to find a solution to that.
I’ve been talking to lots of my friends lately about whether or not there is room for a fourth social network in our lives. In my circle of close friends we basically all check facebook, twitter, and foursquare in that order throughout the day.
While every consumer facing startup claims that they are going to create a new web service or mobile app that people will check and utilize every day I simply don’t know if people have the time or want to do so.
I personally have begun checking Quora and Tumblr just about every day but most of my friends simply don’t use these services. This means that if I’m particularly busy one day even I will forget to check them.
Beginning to realize that founding a successful consumer web company is like wanting to play in the NBA, with the exception that it seems easier at first.
The concept of New Years Resolutions is stupid. People shouldn’t be waiting till the end of the year to change their lives for the better. That’s just the same as waiting till the end of the semester to quit smoking by using the reasoning that you need to smoke because you are “stressed”.
Alternatively, people should constantly be looking for ways to help them reach their goals every day of the year, and should be implementing those changes immediately.