There are certain aspects of our life that, instinctively, we just know are 'working fine'.
For some of us, it's the morning exercise routine (I say 'us', but I really mean 'you' for this one); for others, it's our professional work, and for some, it may be the not-so-routine routine of looking after a family.
For me, it's my coffee routine.
I have 1-2 coffees each day—the first is ordered when I'm 5 minutes away from the office via my Hey You app, so it's ready when I arrive. My second is at about 3pm, either ordered via the Hey You app so it's another quick drive-by pick up, or ordered at the counter so I can proudly use my Hotwire keep cup.
I've always been under the impression that having 2 coffees was quite indulgent. They were my 2 treats for the day—something just for me, something that makes me happy. Anything more than 2 a day would be gluttonous—unnecessarily spoiling myself with too many treats, turning me into an adult version of those kids in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that try to get too much of a good thing.
And then, I came across this Inc. article which outlines recent research saying the more coffee you drink, the better. In fact, drinking more coffee could, according to this article, reduce risks of cancer, Parkinson's and Type 2 diabetes.
So now what do I do? Do I start building up my coffee tolerance so that in 6 months time I'm having 10 coffees a day, and hopefully invincible against any illness on the planet?
Or, like the skeptic I am, do I keep doing what I'm doing in the hopes another survey comes out soon saying 2 coffees a day is the best and healthiest way to live (and then pompously share that article as far and wide as possible)?
Thinking creatively in the approach to 'innovation fatigue'
It made me think about the way we communicate and sell in the tech sector. Many tech vendors and suppliers are innovating and introducing new capabilities most business leaders didn't know existed, and definitely didn't know they need. And among the skeptics, even with the clearest stats and advice from tech leaders, it's going to be a long journey to genuine change, investment, and adoption of the latest tech.
It's one of the many reasons we take research and analytical insights so seriously in our client work. While it's easy to take some sales messaging, pitch it to media and hope for the best—i.e., lots of journos publish an article and then your exact target audience sees the article and calls you to purchase your services, all within 24 hours—this is actually one of the least effective ways to drive behavioural change.
We need to understand where the audience is up to on their journey, ensure the journalist has what they need to bring genuine insights (rather than bombard their readers with more sales talk), and focus on delivering valuable information rather than dictate who should buy what and when.
Where would you start?
Not only do coffee drinkers live longer on average than non-coffee drinkers (that was already a well-known phenomenon) but people who drink a lot of coffee tend to live longer than people who drink moderately or sparsely. Let's be clear on this point: What the research shows is a correlation, not a causal connection. It's possible that people drink more coffee because their lifestyle is generally more healthy, hence they live longer. Possible but not likely, though, considering the wealth of other evidence confirming that drinking coffee results in: A 20% reduced risk of cancer. A 20% reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. A 30% reduced risk of Parkinson's disease. A 5% reduced risk of heart disease.