Planting The Seed: Silicon Valley, Mind Control And Finding Order In Chaos

TechCrunch

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”john-mannes”]

“The seed that we planted in this man’s mind may change everything.” – Dom Cobb (Inception)

While the quote above reads to most with only a Leonardo DiCaprio-style swagger, it is rapidly becoming the prophecy of many innovators. From Silicon Alley to Silicon Valley, investors are captivated by startups leveraging research in cognitive science to affect user behavior.

Timeful, FitStudio, and OPower are three of the most recent seeds planted to help users become better versions of themselves.

Timeful was launched in 2014 with the help of “Chief Behavioral Officer” Dan Ariely. Ariely, The New York Times best-selling author of “Predictably Irrational” and a professor at Duke University, has spent his life researching the cognitive switches that at first glance seem to defy free will.

To understand how Timeful works, think back to a time when you felt guilty telling your gym…

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