Today people are becoming more connected than ever before; perhaps even pathologically connected to technology. Increasing numbers of us feel the need to source our information not just from our immediate surroundings, but also from the spattering of daily emails, text messages, Facebook notifications, Reddit articles, and Twitter updates. The list goes on.
There are so many data sifters out there, but we too often feel like we have to be connected to all of them! As a result of this, our lives have become more stressful, which in turn has affected how we make decisions.
We attended a talk on the overcast morning of June 14th at the City Club in the heart of Downtown LA. Dan Ariely, a leading behavioral economist who is graciously helping KokoChé think through its growth strategy, led the discussion by informing us about the findings from his latest book.
One such finding was the effect of stress on decision-making. To help illustrate the topic, Mr. Ariely described one of his experiments. Half a group of people was asked to remember a seven-digit number, while the other half only a two-digit number. Then both groups were to walk into a room where they could freely choose between an apple or a delicious piece of chocolate cake. In order to claim the prize, the individual had to verbally recall the number. As a result of being mentally “overwhelmed,” the participants who had to memorize the agonizingly long seven-digit number ended up choosing the chocolate cake nearly every time. On the contrary, the group tasked with remembering the two-digit number (piece of cake!) chose the apple much more frequently. The conclusion: when we are mentally stressed our decision-making becomes more impulsive.
Helping to eliminate that potentially harmful impulsiveness is how we think KokoChé can significantly help communities become smarter and more aware. With KokoChé, you open the mobile app, select your impulse (“I’m hungry,” “I’m thirsty,” etc.) and then KokoChé brings up deals in your area that match the impulse. No longer do we want your thought process to be: “I’m hungry, so let me get two McChickens and an order of large fries, because McDonald’s is across the street.” It ought to be more like: “I´m hungry, now look…there are all these instantaneous flash deals for great food options in the area. Looks like there’s a chicken salad deal a block away that is only available until 2PM. It’s 50% off too!” KokoChé gives us the chance to take a step back and decide what would be best for us based on our immediate locations, our wallet, and our health.
All in all, KokoChé strives to help people make smarter decisions on the go. We are not suggesting that KokoChé is the whole answer. It is a step. But several steps in the right direction will lead to significant improvements in our individual and collective sense of well-being.
-Munir Jawed and Ian Sales