Mobile as a Behavior Change Agent

I have talked a lot about collective group behavior and "Digital Swarms" in past blogs, but collective behavior starts with single individuals changing their own behavior which is where mobile become such a revolutionary platform.  The notion of providing people information or insights that can "nudge" their behavior must be done at the right time, in context to have the right effect.  Something only mobile can do as a communications medium, since it can reach the "last foot" wherever you are.  Feedback loops have existing for sometime (such as showing you your own driving speed in a school zone or showing you calories burned on an exercise machine), but mobile is taking this to another level of engagement ( 
Whether its helping a patient take their meds when they are supposed to (a $100B+ impact to the US healthcare system), getting a consumer to curb their energy use at peak load times, getting a driver to practice safe driving habits, or getting an investor to save for retirement, every industry will be attacking the same universal problem of behavior change.  This presents a unique opportunity for companies across industry boundaries to collaborate on challenges which are more about psychology and behavior economics then simply putting technology in people's hands.  Those companies that are able to unlock the ubiquity and intimacy of mobile devices with this more cognitive approach will win big.  Examples I have mentioned previously include Welldoc in healthcare (, Putnam Investments in financial services (, and Tendril in the energy space (  One of the more interesting companies taking this to everything in your life via sticker-sized feedback sensors in GreenGoose (  Whether its brushing your teeth or feeding the pets, the ability to sense everyday routines/habits is coming.  watch out kids!  The question is, will the psychology and pressure of the greater good be there to make it stick.
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This page contains a single entry by Scott A. Snyder published on June 26, 2011 4:27 PM.

Unlocking the Power of Mobility May Require Rethinking Your Innovation Model was the previous entry in this blog.

Where is the Money Flowing in the Mobile Internet Wave? is the next entry in this blog.

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