The Intersection of Retention and Creativity: Building Habits and Increasing Productivity

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Hatched by Glasp

Jul 03, 2023

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The Intersection of Retention and Creativity: Building Habits and Increasing Productivity

Retention is a crucial aspect of any business, especially in the times of COVID-19. It is about building and deepening habits that keep customers engaged and coming back for more. But how do we improve retention? Understanding the science behind habit building is essential, as it can provide insights into the core inputs that drive retention.

One key point to remember is that retention is about usage, not just revenue. While revenue retention is an output of usage, it is the usage itself that drives customer loyalty. To move the needle on retention, businesses need to focus on the inputs that shape it: Activation, Engagement, and Resurrection.

Activation refers to the initial steps a customer takes to start using a product or service. It can be as simple as signing up or creating an account. By optimizing the activation process and making it seamless and intuitive, businesses can increase the likelihood of customers becoming active users.

Engagement, on the other hand, is about keeping customers actively involved with the product or service. This can be achieved through personalized experiences, relevant content, and regular communication. By understanding how the usage of the customer base has changed or is changing, businesses can identify opportunities to improve engagement and increase retention.

Resurrection focuses on bringing back customers who have become inactive or churned. It involves re-engaging with these customers and providing them with compelling reasons to return. By analyzing the habits of the customer base and predicting how they might change going forward, businesses can determine which input (Activation, Engagement, or Resurrection) should receive resources to improve retention.

Now, let's shift our focus to creativity and how it intersects with productivity. Scott H Young, in his article, "Creativity is Productivity," challenges the notion that the spark of youthful genius diminishes over time. He argues that the creative output of individuals is not determined by age but rather by the amount of work they produce.

Research shows that any paper written at any stage of a researcher's career has an equal probability of becoming their most highly cited work. Dean Simonton further supports this idea by suggesting an "equal-odds" rule, stating that each piece of work produced by a creative individual has roughly equal odds of making a significant impact.

To increase creative success, it is crucial to be at the knowledge frontier of a discipline. Being at the boundary of knowledge allows for the contribution of new and innovative ideas. Idea generation and public reception are stochastic processes, meaning they have a significant random component. Once the threshold of being at the knowledge frontier is reached, further advances in creativity become a matter of chance.

This randomness of creative success favors those who are the most prolific. Price's Law, which estimates that half of the research in a given discipline will be produced by the square root of the number of researchers, captures this relationship. Therefore, to produce better work, one must increase their output and take more swings at creativity's metaphorical lottery.

In combining the concepts of retention and creativity, we can draw parallels between the inputs that drive both. Just as Activation, Engagement, and Resurrection are essential for improving retention, being at the knowledge frontier, increasing output, and embracing the randomness of creative success are critical for enhancing productivity and creativity.

In conclusion, businesses must prioritize retention by focusing on the core inputs that drive it. By optimizing Activation, Engagement, and Resurrection, they can build and deepen customer habits, leading to increased loyalty and revenue. Similarly, individuals seeking creative success should embrace the relationship between productivity and creativity. By being at the knowledge frontier, increasing output, and embracing the randomness of creative success, they can increase their chances of making a significant impact.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Analyze your customer base and identify how their usage has changed or is changing. This will help you understand which input (Activation, Engagement, or Resurrection) requires the most attention to improve retention.
  • 2. Optimize the activation process to make it seamless and intuitive for customers. A smooth onboarding experience increases the likelihood of customers becoming active users.
  • 3. Embrace the randomness of creative success by increasing your output. Take more swings at creativity's metaphorical lottery, and you'll increase your chances of producing better work.

Remember, retention and creativity are interconnected, and by understanding their common points, businesses and individuals can achieve greater success in their respective endeavors.

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