What's on tap?🚰 💦 Going below the surface. How to help people make new choices.
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Hello there:

Have you been thinking about water more?

If you are, you're not alone. I'm in an intense relationship with washers and washing right now. I count myself lucky to have a decent water supply—many people are not as fortunate.

I haven't been to a restaurant in a while, but typically the first question is about water: bottle or tap? Many in the U.S. go with tap there and at home. All bets are off in gyms, cars and on the go, though.

Italians are more into bottled water—in restaurants and at home. @WIll_Ita is a news Instagram channel with excellent and easy to grasp reporting by young staff. They published the statistic recently: Italians are the first consumers of bottled water in the EU and second in the world.

A surprising finding, given that Italy tops the charts for recycling and high consciousness around plastics and the environment. Plus, Italians are by and large penny pincers, especially now. Bottle water costs 312 times more than tap. (Italy has the lowest tap water cost in Europe).

Plus, Italy's tap water is perfectly good, says the article. So why are people buying bottled water?

Well, it turns out that the problem is not the water (as much) but the pipes. They're very old. The pipes make the water taste horrible and full of sediments. Boil it for tea enough times and it ruins your pan.

To anyone doing the research and analyzing the economic angle, there's a puzzle. Why spend more? Environmentalists worry about all that plastic and the CO2 produced to make new bottles.

But ask people in apartment buildings and homes around the peninsula, and you will find the problem. Stinky*, undrinkable tap water.
  • People hire water coming from the pipes to do the job of washing clothes (adding stuff to the machine to dissolve sediment) and themselves.
  • They reluctantly hire bottles for water they can drink.
Some municipalities installed central water purifiers with great success.

Public investment helps alleviate individual and environmental costs. But unless we see below the surface and take into account all the trade-offs, we keep focusing on point solutions. Tell people they're polluting (of course, that's not what the bottled water companies say).

Coined by Clay Christensen, jobs to be done (JTBD) is short hand for understanding why people “hire” a product or service. The focus is the thing we want to do, rather than the feature of the product or service that does it.

If you want to understand why people buy your product, you need to dig under the surface. Even impulse purchases have a deeper reason.

This week, we're digging a little into how to use a JTBD framework to discover the forces at play in choices. (The topic of my article in the links at the bottom)

*Humans may be able to smell over 1 trillion scents.
This is what I call liberating your inner Italian.
The playful, energizing, charming, beautiful you always under the surface.  More gorgeous mosaic than puzzle,
trust me on this one.


1,121 + stories about Italian Style in my Flipboard magazine
What jobs do we hire social networks to do?

In a conversation with industry analyst Horace Dediu about “Jobs to be Done” from which I gleaned useful insights for segmentation, he closed# on a light note. Social media might relate to the seven deadly sins.

See if you think he was onto something:
  1. LinkedIn—greed
  2. Facebook/Pinterest—envy (this reminds me of Betabrands envy pants#)
  3. YouTube/Twitter—wrath
  4. Kickstarter/Reddit—sloth
  5. Pinterest—gluttony
  6. Snapchat—lust (Instagram here?)
  7. Twitter—pride

It was in jest, yet the comparison kind of ties back to the jobs we hire each social network to do. I added Instagram with a (?).

This is a fun way to introduce a concept that is important beyond product development, where we typically see it.

Under the surface:

Each article I'm sharing this week has links to deeper research.
(Rabbit holes or mosaics, it's up to you to discover.)

Physical / emotional spheres
(I don't know about you, I'm doubling up on exercise.)
  • Not Everyday Life published its first summary report. Download the PDF here. 7 key themes around connection, community, collision, communication, coping, clarification, confidence emerged from our conversations and independent regional workshops.
  • Consumers’ online and in-person plans as the U.S. heads back to business has some interesting breakdowns by age groups. Topics include: health concerns and trust in information sources.
Psychological comfort
(Zero calories, but repercussions in other spheres.) Oh, behave!
(A reference to the Austin Powers movies, in my rotation when I feel down.)
Business is very much about relationships, and relationships are a contact sport.

That's what makes it so difficult to negotiate being separated by screens and shields. Italians are high touch kinds of people, it's a cultural thing. But I think it's also a human thing. Touch is the first sense we develop. We use it to interact with the world, but it's also very important to a human's well-being

Could that be the reason why touchscreens took off even when they weren't that good, yet?

“We're all born intuitive
but then the fear of making mistakes
blocks this talent, which is fundamental
for those who want to do business.”

- Federico Faggin,
inventor of the world's first microprocessor and creator
of touchscreen technology (yep, before Steve Jobs)

What makes a good life?
How to help people make new choices

12 books that changed my life
8 books for when you're in the mood to explore possible futures

I ground all my sites here.
If you're a creator and are planning to ground your digital presence using WordPress, check SiteGround out.

Graduate to fast, affordable WordPress hosting.

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Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.
Conversation Agent LLC / @ConversationAge
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