The IKEA Effect

How a Little Extra Effort Can Lead to Greater Satisfaction

Heyo πŸ‘‹ Jordan here,

In my old apartment, I had this red couch.

I hated that couch.

It was small, wobbly, and uncomfortable. In the span of just 3 years, I repaired that couch 5 times:

  1. Repaired a leg

  2. Changed all of the legs

  3. Reupholstered it (someone burned a hole with a hookah charcoal)

  4. Repaired the folding mechanism (it got stuck in that middle state)

  5. Reupholstered it AGAIN (I burned another hole by leaving a hot drill on it πŸ˜…)

And after 3 years, I finally had the extra cash to splurge for a big, fancy couch. I could sit on it for more than 1 hour, it had armrests, and even a little shelf built on the outside for my remotes. The new couch was literal perfection.

Surprisingly... I still missed the old one.

πŸ›‹οΈ The IKEA effect

Work adds meaning.

It's the 1950s. You had the best idea: an instant cake mix. You make it delicious, cheap, and simple to use (it takes a few seconds).

And... it flops. People hate it.

After a lot of racking your brain, you try something crazy: you make it harder to use. Your instant mix now requires an egg.

And the results? Fantastic β€” your instant mix is an instant hit.

Work made the instant mix feel meaningful, like real cooking. Being too easy destroyed its' value.

This is the IKEA effect.

Working on something makes it more valuable. Even an uncomfortable couch.

But you've already seen this in action.

  • Clubs

  • DIY products

  • Done-With-You services

Can charge a premium for asking you to do more work. But this isn't an exclusive club β€” everyone can use the IKEA effect.

🧐 Your ideas = Best ideas

If you had the best product idea, would you:

A/ Share it with as many people as possible to get feedback.B/ Keep it to yourself to make sure no one copies you and builds it first.

If you really had the best idea and the ability to execute it, then B will be the best option. But we often overvalue our ideas.

The Endowment Effect says we value our things more than others' things. Your red uncomfortable couch is worth more than Jenny's red uncomfortable couch, even though it's the same couch.

This can destroy a business based on an untested idea, but it can also provide an endless stream of motivation if you make your daily effort the thing you own (and disproportionately value).

πŸ‘ Starting a movement

Throughout history every revolution started the same way:

  1. A hero helps a ton of people. (building trust)

  2. People join the hero in their quest to complete the grand goal. (starting a movement)

  3. After years of group effort and dedication, they have a chance to change the status quo. To build the world they want. To achieve the grand goal. (revolution)

Content creators walk the same path:

  1. They create valuable content that helps people & builds trust.

  2. They rally their followers behind a common ideal, a common goal. (lifestyle, business, freedom, impact to make)

  3. They work for years to make their audience and themselves achieve that goal.

You can use that in your own life. Rally people, do the work together (the IKEA effect), share the idea (the Endowment effect), and you can achieve anything.

People achieve greatness together, not alone.

Your biggest fan,Jordan

PS: Here's Harvard's study on the IKEA effect. It's a bit dry but well worth a read.

πŸ’‘ Idea of the Week

We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.

β€” Orson Scott Card

βš™οΈ Tools, Apps, 'n' Gadgets

Here are today's picks:

  • Tally β€” The best and fastest form builder out there. For free.

  • Carrd β€” Simple and easy landing pages. Free if you're getting started. $19/year if you want more stuff (less than a domain).

  • β€” Summarize long YouTube videos. Ugly website, but useful & free.

πŸ‘‹ Enjoying this so far?

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πŸ”¦ Creator Spotlight

Clint is a fantastic writer, mentor, and hypnotist. He is one of the most interesting people to follow on Twitter. His newsletter, The Elixir, is the perfect read for a Sunday morning and a cup of tea (and I typically don't even like tea, it's that good).

πŸ“° Last Week with Jordan

What a busy week. I'm trying to amp it up and post 1 short article per day (at least).

  • Global Tags Database in Notion β€” If you're using Notion, global tags can make your organization so much cleaner

  • The Endowment Effect β€” My drawing skills need work. I'm challenging myself to post things that are not perfect.Β 

  • I started a Medium accountΒ β€” I recently joined the Ship 30 for 30 writing course. I'll publish my essays for it on Medium and LinkedIn. I'll put the stuff that doesn't quite fit here or on Twitter.

Finally, this beast β€” a must-read if you're not using ChatGPT πŸ‘‡

That was it for today. Have a great week and I'll see you next Sunday!

β€” Jordan

PS: Help me out by sharing this with a friend who'll find it useful 🫢