The impact of friction on doing the right thing

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Friction vs. Momentum in Life

This post is not focusing on the aspects of friction and momentum in a physics sense, but rather in a philosophical sense, and the way they impact a person’s business and personal life.

Basically, if you reduce friction on an object or in a process and increase its velocity you will get sustained movement – momentum. Conversely, the more friction a process has in it, the more likely it is to grind to a halt without something or someone moving it along.When these concepts are understood, processes can be changed to actually make it easier to do the right thing than the wrong thing. This has huge implications in all aspects of life and makes it much easier to
hit goals and objectives.

Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and material elements sliding against each other.

Source: Wikipedia

In classical mechanics, linear momentum or translational momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. Like velocity, linear momentum is a vector quantity, possessing a direction as well as a magnitude:

Source: Wikipedia

Impact of friction: Hurricane Sandy Red Cross Donations

Like several hundred million other people, I’ve been watching a lot of the news about Hurricane Sandy that hit the east coast last week. The devastation that occurred is unreal.

Being in Michigan I was lucky enough to just get some wind and a bit of rain. I didn’t even lose power for any part of the storm.

Friday night (11/2/2012) I tuned into the Red Cross / NBC Hurricane Sandy telethon. Aerosmith, Bruce Springstein, Sting and others were on and it was a great show. The telethon raised almost $23 million to help victims of the tragedy. During the show they mentioned how to donate to the Red Cross to help out the victims of the storm on an iPhone. Being that I have an iPhone and was going to donate anyways (Link to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy donation webpage), I flipped through to see how easy it was.

Apple did an outstanding job with the process and technology to donate. The process is as smooth and painless as possible. To donate to the Red Cross all a person has to do is:

  1. Go into iTunes.
  2. Click on Red Cross logo on the homepage.
  3. Sign in with iTunes password.
  4. Pick how much money to donate from a drop down.
  5. Click OK and you’re done.

4 clicks and a password to help hurricane victims. Pretty amazing really……

Apple has eliminated all friction in donating to the hurricane victims for the millions of people with iPhones. This drives better results than a clunky or frustrating process that is so common today.

How many less people would donate if they had to fill out a long form with a bunch of useless info????? Sure, this is common sense but still not common to see in practice.

Apple eliminated friction in the donation process and thereby made it easier to do the right thing than it is to do the wrong thing.

When its easier to do the right then than the wrong thing, positive momentum can be created which can then build on itself and create long lasting change.

There are a lot of ways this impacts both business and personal life that we’ll explore at a later date.

Any way that friction can be eliminated from a part of one’s life, either in business or personal, the better the outcome will be.

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PS – Here is another link to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy donation webpage

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Eric Detterman
Interested in Web Applications, Cloud Infrastructure, Quantitative Trading Systems, and more. Owner of an awesome St. Bernard named Barnaby.
Eric Detterman
Eric Detterman
Eric Detterman

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