Thursday, January 17, 2008

Put a Contract Out on Yourself

Is there nothing you can't do online? I've blogged in the past about neuroeconomics and behavioural economics as interesting areas of research, but you know a topic is hot when people use it to launch new businesses.

Aptly timed for the New Year, a group of American academics and business folk have launched stickK. According to the blurb on the website: "stickK promotes healthier and happier living by helping people achieve their personal goals through the signing of Commitment Contracts. Happier people = happier world!"

What I really like about StickK is that the entrepreneurs behind it are quite explicit about their use of economic theory to develop their service:
The Commitment Contract concept is grounded on two well-known principles of behavioural economics: (1) people don’t always do what they claim they want to do, and (2) incentives get people to do things.
The idea is to encourage you to a make a public statement of your intentions ('take a contract out on yourself' as they jocularly put it), as a way of encouraging you to stick to your New Year's Resolutions or plans or whatever you fancy.

I think it's clever. Only time will tell if it will stickK ...

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