Drive by Daniel Pink: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Nov 5, 2014
Hey BuSo. Haven't posted here in awhile but I just finished reading Drive by Pink and it's something you should should read. Here's the summary.

Humans have 3 drivers:
  1. Basic biological needs such as food, shelter, sex, survival.
  2. Reward/punishment, what the author calls Motivation 2.0.
  3. Mastery, Purpose, and Autonomy, what the author calls Motivation 3.0
Motivation 2.0

Motivation 2.0 is the reward and punishment mentality of motivating people or yourself. "Do this and I'll give you $5 or don't do this and I'll fine you $10."

This type of motivation only works for basic, low level tasks such as assembly line work (and works well for it too). This type of motivation is detrimental to creativity, initiative, and long term happiness. Because of that, in today's white-collar, tech world, you *don't* want to motivate people with rewards and punishments. It'll give you shittier results, robs you of happiness once you achieve the result, and makes you not want to do the task again.

Motivation 3.0

Motivation 3.0 consists of 3 parts and they are defined below.
  1. Autonomy - you do something that you've chosen for yourself (what) in a manner that you chose to do it (how) at a time you chose to do it (when) with whom you chose to do it (who).
  2. Mastery - you do something to improve your abilities in an area. You'll never reach mastery but you can always be 1% better at skill and this elusiveness is what makes it fun and engaging ("flow" as management theorists call it).
  3. Purpose - you do what you do for the benefit of other people. By being involved with something that's bigger than you, it gives your work (and life) meaning. You can have Autonomy and Mastery and be motivated and Purpose is the turbocharger that boost those 2 things.

Maybe it was because I was hanging around with affiliate guys but having your goal as $x,xxx/month is a *terrible* goal. I realized that I'd get a high when I achieve it and, shortly afterwards, feel totally empty. That discouraged me from $xx,xxx and beyond. I seriously felt terrible for a year because of the Motivation 2.0 mentality.

Work, now, is not about how much cash you produce but how good the product you're making is becoming, how good you're improving in business (or whatever endeavor you want to apply this to such as weight lifting, drawing, skateboarding, etc).

Doing things for other people is a lot more rewarding than doing it for money. Yes, you ask for fair compensation for your time and effort, don't get me wrong there, but the effect you have on people is a larger return than the cash. Here's a simple example: What's more rewarding? Earning $100,000 from a workout program or having 20 people email you saying how you're workout program helped them go from obese to healthy? Its obvious the former is a short term mentality and the latter is a long term mentality. Its also obvious that the long term mentality is what produces stable, profitable, reliable businesses.