Net Present Value of Future Self

This afternoon Josh Reich of BankSimple hosted a discussion around how consumers use real-time data. Much of the group chat revolved around different favors of quantified self tools and the relationship between data and behavior.

An interesting challenge posed by an attendee was around how to get a consumer to use these tools for self-betterment by helping them envision the “net present value of their future self”. In other words, are there ways to not just communicate that the action you just took was healthy or not healthy, but to also help an audience envision what being a healthy person will be like? If a brand were to get into this space, it would likely be important to tailor the messaging around a product or service of this type to reflect not just the benefit, but really what your existence will be like with that benefit applied.

Also discussed were various approaches to user feedback loops. In some cases, it has been shown that delaying feedback rather than providing it in real time makes sense. In the example of personal finance, perhaps a daily summary is better at modifying behavior than real time feedback, which can be stressful.