Honey Muse- Issue #5
This is why receiving incentives is detrimental to your own success.
Incentive: something that encourages a person to do something or to work harder.
We live in a capitalistic world where money is our main incentive. If you want anything done, just throw money at it and you’ll bet your sweet ass it’ll get done. Some people say they don’t have a price, but add a couple of extra 0’s at the end of that check and they’ll be licking their lips. It’s our god, it’s our religion, and we collectively bow down. Why? Well, we need it to survive. We need it to buy food, we need it for shelter, we need it for status, and we need it to be philanthropic. Money is a social currency used to determine trust and ease transactions between two distinct parties. So why are incentives bad?
Rewards do not create a lasting commitment. They merely, and temporarily, change what we do.
Incentives essentially only give temporary compliance. You’ll show up to my Twitter space and Discord if I say giveaway *cough cough* (not guilty). But once that giveaway is done and you didn’t win, I bet you’re riding into the sunset with your week-old greasy unwashed hair, hoping to find the next Doodle giveaway.
Incentives are what we call extrinsic motivators, they do not alter the attitude of our underlying (true) motivation. You do X and you’ll get Y. This is a relationship we are very trained in, just imagine how many times your parents have used this to make you shut up when you were a kid by promising you a toy or ice cream. But now that we’re older incentives create this focus on financial consideration, especially in this space. Even you being drawn into this crypto/NFT space started with the incentive of a reward.
“How I became a multi-millionaire by flipping JPEGs”
I’m sure seeing these clickbait titles gotcha thinking, “well shit maybe I can too.” So you come in and attempt to do the exact same thing as everyone else you see around you because you also want that reward.
And this is the root of the problem. Whenever people are encouraged to think about what they will get (tangibles) for participating in a task, they are less inclined to take risks or explore new possibilities, play hunches, or consider various dimensions.
The number one casualty of rewards is creativity. As the late John Condry put it, rewards are the “enemies of exploration.”
Failure to Deliver
Punishment and reward are essentially two sides of the same coin. Not receiving a reward one would expect to receive is also indistinguishable from being punished. Think about the extremely ambitious promises you see on roadmaps for projects these days. Many of them are setting themselves up for failure because they make these promises upfront to their community and then realize they cannot deliver in the stated timeline. Whether that was poor management in not understanding the time effort, cost, or an unexpected issue that arose, this is where the community begins to lose faith. And as we know in this belief-value-based economy we are working in… that’s no bueno. Failure to deliver is the same as punishing your community, the brain actually can’t tell the difference psychologically. It’s breaking the faith. That’s why the method of understating and overdelivering is simply the best.
By relieving some of these pressures we set on ourselves, we are given the freedom to innovate beyond out of our own volition. A great example of this is Bored Apes. They kept it simple and open-ended as to what they were working on without a solid date or timeline. Why? Because if you don’t expect anything, you can’t be disappointed.
Another one is Lamb Duhs. If you check their roadmap, it was very simple and straightforward. They delivered on everything stated, but because of the freedom of knowing they can give however much they want, they give everything. Yes. I’m absolutely biased and fucking bullish because I work with them. But we have an amazing PX collection coming. We have an updated website coming soon that allows Metadata changes (name your lamb). We have $DUH token coming out. We have a huge team expansion announcement coming out (which if you look hard enough we’ve dropped hints.) We have partnerships announcements. We have advisor announcements. We have everything to be bullish and none of this was on the roadmap. This was out of pure love for the work we do. The love for innovating and pushing ourselves. The love for sharing and the love for our community.
Woo-Woo Bigger Than You
You might ask what underlying motivation do we have? Well, that’s dependent on everyone on exactly what, but generally it boils down to a form of love, respect, power, status, & a sense of belonging to something bigger. Or as we like to call it here, community.
But then you say, “these are all non-tangibles”? Yep.
It’s like trying to explain NFTs to your grandmother, it makes no sense and it sounds like gibberish unless you’re in it. This is part of the issue with us, humans, is that we always want to know, why? We want full transparency to attempt at understanding everything but sometimes things are what they are. No matter how nice or cruel, it’s the truth. We are an infinite onion. You can keep peeling back layers, but you’ll never get any closer to the center.