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ESPRESSO FRIDAYS

The Science of Friction

Published about 2 months ago • 2 min read

Hey there!

So, I was reading “Building a Second Brain,” and it had this quote that really got me thinking:

“Forcing yourself to make decisions every time you capture something adds friction to the process. This makes the experience mentally taxing and thus less likely to happen in the first place.”

Imagine if every time you wanted to remember something, you had to climb a huge mountain first. You’d probably just forget about it, right?

If you're not new here, you've probably read this quote on a recent issue. This time I want to take it a step further.

There’s this thing in behavioral economics called “friction.” It’s basically anything that makes stuff harder or takes longer to do. Think of it like trying to ride a bike through mud. It’s possible, but way harder than on a smooth road.

In “Thinking Fast and Slow,” which is another cool book by Daniel Kahneman, he talks about two ways our brain thinks:

  1. The quick and easy way, like grabbing a cookie from a jar or choosing the next plate to wash. It’s like our brain’s autopilot.
  2. The slow and careful way, like writing an important note or doing a tricky math problem. This is when our brain really has to focus and think hard.

So, when I’m choosing how to do something, I always keep these rules in mind.
Like, when I was writing this note, I had a bunch of choices. Should I use Apple notes, Notion, or Obsidian? Where should I save it so I can find it again? While I’m thinking about all this, I sometimes forget what I actually wanted to write. Annoying, right?

This is just like when I use my tools. Tmux is great because I don’t have to worry about picking a terminal window. My session plugin saves me the trouble of remembering where I opened a new project.

Neovim is super cool because it just feels natural, like it’s part of my hand. And Brain.fm? It chooses the best music for me to focus, so I don’t have to.

When I pick a new technology, let alone build one, I try to think: “does this remove friction?”, if it does, I go on a deep dive to learn everything I can about it, so I build another muscle memory around it.

Then, when system 2 kicks in, its as free as possible to perform the task at hand with little to no distraction at all.


Here are some cool things I discovered this week:

  • Mixo, is an AI based startup landing page creator. You provide a prompt, and it figures out the rest. If you have a micro saas idea just give it a go for free and see what is comes up with: https://www.mixo.io/
  • Assuming you’re building a small project with the above, how about an open source mini backend, that can run as a small binary with everything you need? DB, authentication admin dashboard and more? Here’s https://pocketbase.io/

Have a great weekend!

Thank you for reading, feel free to reply to this email with ideas and thoughts.

Omer

ESPRESSO FRIDAYS

Every once in a while I send hand picked things I've learned. Kind of like your filter to the tech internet. No spam, I promise!

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