LearnDon't punish everyone

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writes on July 20, 2011

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I’ve been listening to Derek Sivers’ new book Anything You Want. It’s packed with amazing advice. He’s also done a bunch of short little videos covering some of the topics from the book. In this video, he talks about policy decisions.

11 Responses to “Don't punish everyone”

  1. Derek is great. I love his writing but unfortunately haven’t had the time to start “Anything you want”. Maybe the audio book is a great option so I can check it out in the car.

    Anyway, the advice he gives here and the observations he makes are solid. A lot of people get angry or defensive way to quickly.

    Derek’s advice works for software too. Don’t punish users if they make a mistake, but encourage them to continue or fix their mistake. Marco Arment (Instapaper) has several times mentioned that a lot of users of pirated Instapaper copies didn’t realize they were doing something they weren’t supposed to. And that after an e-mail to bought the app.

    Sometimes the “damage” done to you isn’t on purpose. Spilling grape juice certainly wasn’t, so why punish (other) people for it. Just hold it and count to 10.

  2. Derek is great. I love his writing but unfortunately haven’t had the time to start “Anything you want”. Maybe the audio book is a great option so I can check it out in the car.

    Anyway, the advice he gives here and the observations he makes are solid. A lot of people get angry or defensive way to quickly.

    Derek’s advice works for software too. Don’t punish users if they make a mistake, but encourage them to continue or fix their mistake. Marco Arment (Instapaper) has several times mentioned that a lot of users of pirated Instapaper copies didn’t realize they were doing something they weren’t supposed to. And that after an e-mail to bought the app.

    Sometimes the “damage” done to you isn’t on purpose. Spilling grape juice certainly wasn’t, so why punish (other) people for it. Just hold it and count to 10.

  3. Thanks Ryan! I really appreciate it. That means a lot coming from you. I’m a big fan of your work.  – Derek

    • Holy biscuits, it’s an honor to have you stop by! Thank you so much, wow. I’m listening to your book for the 2nd time – it’s packed with goodness. My wife is bored of me talking about it :)

  4. Thanks Ryan! I really appreciate it. That means a lot coming from you. I’m a big fan of your work.  – Derek

    • Holy biscuits, it’s an honor to have you stop by! Thank you so much, wow. I’m listening to your book for the 2nd time – it’s packed with goodness. My wife is bored of me talking about it :)

  5. Seems this would be a good lesson for everyone, not just businesses! Love the style of the video. 

  6. Seems this would be a good lesson for everyone, not just businesses! Love the style of the video. 

  7. James Hatfield on July 21, 2011 at 1:02 am said:

    Quick comment on policies. Many are in place not to punish the one bad apple but to protect the many from the one who seeks to exploit or abuse others. In many scenarios, once the damage is done it can not be redressed.

    For instance: content filters. Facebook aside, an individual at a large company could easily load a drive by malware site, infect the PC and then share the infection, leading to attempts at XSS with all infected users banking activities.

    I personally had my purchase card details compromised somehow – likely from some malware on an unknown networked PC. Luckily it was a corporate card but could have been a personal card just as easily.

    I agree with the sentiment but warn against an opposite knee jerk reaction against all restrictive policies.

  8. James Hatfield on July 21, 2011 at 1:02 am said:

    Quick comment on policies. Many are in place not to punish the one bad apple but to protect the many from the one who seeks to exploit or abuse others. In many scenarios, once the damage is done it can not be redressed.

    For instance: content filters. Facebook aside, an individual at a large company could easily load a drive by malware site, infect the PC and then share the infection, leading to attempts at XSS with all infected users banking activities.

    I personally had my purchase card details compromised somehow – likely from some malware on an unknown networked PC. Luckily it was a corporate card but could have been a personal card just as easily.

    I agree with the sentiment but warn against an opposite knee jerk reaction against all restrictive policies.

  9. A great little video with a good message but before you start thinking everyone who put up toilet signs for patrons use only or put in an internet filter at their company is a quick to react uptight jerk they may well be reacting to persistant actions of many people.

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