The Importance of Being Difficult

All I ever hear from online marketing and blogging experts is to make sure and make things easy on my users. I call shenanigans on this.

I’ve made things easy -maybe too easy?- and now I have to make them more difficult. And this makes sense because human nature doesn’t appreciate things that come easy. The DNA of our species is designed to fight for every morsel, and this is also expressed in our appreciation of things that come hard to us.

I can draw countless parallels between the example I talk about in the video and examples we find in our lives all the time.

  • Gastric bypass patients who lose weight practically over night only to gain it back, practically over night
  • One night stands that never turn into relationships
  • Feeling guilty for getting a job you didn’t deserve on basis of connections or good luck

I could go on and on. The one thing all these scenarios have in common is that when we get something we didn’t work for, we don’t appreciate it. And it ends up meaning nothing to us.

Lesson? It pays to make your customers, users, readers, and whoever else, jump through hoops for their own good.

Watch the video for a real online-life example.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • http://solitarymama.com/ cmajaski

    I don’t think the sign up problems indicate that you can’t be easy and clever. It indicates that some people are morons.As told to a handful of dates, “I prefer easy and clever”. If it’s difficult, count me out. I have other more important difficult and boring things to tend to.

    Probably just me. I guess.

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      @cmajaski I see your point, Christina. Here is a flip side. I always believed that the onus of “understanding” is on the communicator, not on the communicated. Unfortunately that then means we have to speak to the lowest common denominator. Which then means we’re not allowed to be clever.

      But I’ll keep trying :-)

  • http://zombieresponseteam.net/ MorganBarnhart

    I am of the belief that nothing in life comes easy and only the best things in life are a struggle to achieve. However, when it comes to customers I do like to make it as easy as possible for them to, say, find me on FB or sign up for my newsletter or find my RSS feed. Simple things like that should be, well, simple. But what you’re talking about, yes, being clever can get lost in translation when we’re used to a certain way of doing things or seeing things for a certain extended period of time.

    However, I think if there were a question mark or something next to the “build a tribe” button that explained in detail what the heck that meant in simple terms, people would get it. Or maybe instead of just sending them straight to the inside, you could send them to a tutorial or ‘step by step’ set up of how to use Triberr. Stuff like that can make the process easier so when you try to be clever, people have gone through the tutorial (at least those who choose to do it) and know what starting a Tribe really means.

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      @MorganBarnhart Great minds I guess :-)

      So there is a 4 step tutorial when people sign up exactly as you suggested. And guess what? lol

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

    In regard to blogging I have very simple rules that I follow.

    1) Make it easy to subscribe.

    2) Make it easy to comment.

    I believe in building my community around me and have found that it works. I don’t write 300 word posts so that those with short attention spans can follow. I write as many words as the post takes and I expect people to read it. Most really do that because people will rise to the level of our expectations.

  • BruceSallan1

    We can always count on you to be the WISE contrarian, DD…love you for that!

  • accretor

    @tedcoine Some valid points, but wouldn’t this have been avoided just by not allowing 2 triberr accts to share 1 email? /cc @dino_dogan

    • dino_dogan

      @accretor @tedcoine ahhh, yes, it would. But ppl have multiple email accounts. We’re making things better tho, it will be ok :-)

      • accretor

        @dino_dogan I definitely agree with a number of your points there, Dino. I know you’re on top of it. /cc @tedcoine

  • NickKellet

    Genius lies within. Gamification tricks @LinkedInExpert @dino_dogan The Importance of Being Difficult http://t.co/74Nzc4fT via @dino_dogan

  • alamart

    @LinkedInExpert @dino_dogan Don’t take that one too seriously!

    • LinkedInExpert

      @alamart I am a joy and a pleasure to be around :)) @dino_dogan

      • alamart

        @LinkedInExpert @dino_dogan Yes you are! Hey, did you get my messages today? I’m now have my Mac and PC on VMs on my iPad!

        • dino_dogan

          @alamart @LinkedInExpert Mac and PC in VMs on iPad? #GeekAlert! lol

        • LinkedInExpert

          @dino_dogan @alamart Guilty as charged!

        • LinkedInExpert

          @dino_dogan @alamart guilty as charged

  • laurenrodan

    Simply clever is cool but cutesy clever gets complicated.

  • http://www.greeneggsandmoms.com/ Anne @ GreenEggs&Moms

    I think it depends when you should be clever or not. In the case of the sign in message of Triberr (build your tribe) it would have been better to keep things simple at first. Why? Because most readers don’t know about you and your quirky side yet.

    Now, if you’re talking about blogging, you can be clever (as long you don’t overdo it) because it makes you stand out from the sea of “safe” bloggers. Spice up your writing and it’s more likely that readers will remember you and come back for more. Just my two cents.