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TitleAverage Joe
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Page 1

Average Joe

Page 2

Average Joe

Be the Silicon
Valley Tech

Shawn Livermore

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take a look at this photo your friend shared about the same idea as the
article, now watch this video related to the photo. . . . This, he says, is the
prodding and stealing of attention that should be questioned.

Harris also called attention to the idea of friction and how it works with
using tech products. Friction itself, as a marketing concept, is when the
act of performing a purchase online or signing up for a service is too
cumbersome or riddled with steps. Friction is what slows you down
when you just want to get through the process as seamlessly as possible.
Broadly speaking, friction in this sense has been categorically labeled
as bad and something to be expunged from all business, everywhere,
forever. Friction is bad, bad, bad. And thank heavens, the tech geniuses
have created for us a nearly frictionless experience that makes it easy
and cool. It’s now so easy and so fast for us to receive and consume the
content. Therein lies the problem. It’s too easy. It’s too fast. And it takes
up too much time. The use of friction as a tool can systematically slow
that process down, allowing users to consider more thoughtfully if they
are willing and able to engage with the product for the true amount of
time that the content will demand.

The original objective of his slide deck was to facilitate a broader
conversation with that internal audience at Google, addressing areas he
knew were causing internal conflict and even anguish as they designed
products and proposed moments of interaction with users. The slides
went viral, extending throughout the Google employee base and external
to the rest of the world as well.

Harris continues his work of goodwill, creating a movement he calls
Time Well Spent. Atlantic Magazine called Harris the “closest thing
Silicon Valley has to a conscience.”66 Rolling Stone described him as
one of the 25 people shaping the world.67 Fortune put him on their 40
under 40 list for 2018.68 His speaking gigs are endless, and the content
gets posted and shared all over the Internet. It’s obvious—Harris is on
to something.

On January 11, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg took notice, and fully
embraced Time Well Spent as a design goal for the Facebook platform.69

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Make Me Click 215

. . .passively reading articles or watching videos—even if
they’re entertaining or informative—may not be as good.
Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build
Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams
from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping
you have more meaningful social interactions. . . . At its
best, Facebook has always been about personal connections.
By focusing on bringing people closer together—whether it’s
with family and friends, or around important moments in
the world—we can help make sure that Facebook is time
well spent.70

While it’s unclear as to the measurable outcome of the claim, Zucker-
berg’s comments are promising toward goals of less promotional content
and more meaningful human interaction. So say goodbye to endless cat
videos and Candy Crush challenges, and say hello to spoken word poetry
about planet Earth and TED talks on mindfulness!

Snapchat Streaks
When Snapchat first launched, its press coverage dubbed it as contro-
versial. Instead of posting to a wall, like Facebook, or sharing a photo,
like Instagram, Snapchat focused on something else: sending photos.
And not just that the photo was sent, but that the photo disappears. The
app allowed kids to send pictures to each other that vanished after 10
seconds. This transient and ephemeral digital footprint allowed kids
to have more freedom and less accountability for their Internet usage.
Conservative parents all over the world were throwing a fit, fearful of
their teenage and preteen kids using the app. Sexting (sending sexu-
ally explicit images via text message) was now a slightly safer possi-
bility.71 This fear and the lectures it conjured up between parents and
their kids worked wonders for Snapchat’s growth, further enticing the
younger audience.

Snapchat was a rocket ship, growing faster than anyone expected.
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook offered $3 billion to buy the company,
but co-founder and Stanford-dropout CEO Evan Spiegel turned down
the offer.72 Spiegel was already a billionaire on paper and believed it

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right-brainers, 301–303
vampire economics, 295–297
words, 300–301

Stravinsky, Igor, 97–98
study of others, Mozart, 68
subconscious creative

work, 85–89
subconscious mind, 80
substance, delivery and, 275–277
Sustainable Mystique Triad,

346, 374–375
articulate speech, 353–355
fascination, 347, 358–359
inflections, 355–357
interesting problems, 347–350
narrow focus, 350–353

Suzuki, Shunryū, 251

Tech Genius Myth, 25–28, 321

dispelling, 28–31
technology inflections, 356
Terman, Lewis, 39–42, 363–364
Tesla, 19
the Zone, 144
The Theory of Moral Sentiments

(Smith), 295
Theory of Operant Conditioning,

208. See also operant

Theotokópoulos, Doménikos, 36
Thiel, Peter, 185, 353–354
thought fluidity, 82–84
TikTok, 242–243
Time Well Spent (Harris), 214

Zuckerberg and, 214–215
Torvalds, Linus, 52–53
traction, 327

truffle hunting, 183–186
trust, Bitcoin and, 237–239

Uber, 328–329
uncertainty, hustling

and, 332–336
user conversion, 188

vampire economics, 295–297
Van Praet, Douglas, 177,

variable schedule of rewards,

venture capital company,

venture capitalists, 64
verification, creativity and, 80
village mindset, 178–183
viral coefficient, 176
vos Savant, Marilyn, 37–38

Waits, Tom, 97
Wallas, Graham, 79–82

illumination, 80
incubation, 80
preparation, 80
verification, 80

Warren, Neil Clark, 227
WCTF (Word Count to

Fascination), 355
Web 2.0, 4–5
web browsers, email retrieval, 7
web of indebtedness, 177
Weiden, David, 135
Weisberg, Robert, 48–49

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Index 451

Weisz, Ehrich (Houdini),

WeWork, 329–332
Whitehead, Alfred North, 64
Wilkinson, Andrew, 73–75
Wilson, Douglas L., 62–63
Wingeier, Brett, 151
Winner, Ellen, 45–46
wonder kids. See child prodigies
Woods, Frederick Adams, 16–17
words, story science, 300–301
Wozniak, Steve, 170–171, 187
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 70–71

SCF and, 119–120
wu wei, 144

Yahoo, Oddpost, 1–2
Y-Combinator, 130–133

Zak, Paul, 287

emotional resonance, 298
narrative transport, 298
vampire economics and,

Zoosk, 227
Zuckerberg, Mark, 10, 161

coding sessions, 144
Time Well Spent and, 214–215

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