Startup Books

Starting a new business is always a learning experience.

This is true even if you’ve run other businesses in the past. Before I started Creative Science, I ran several other companies. I was always an entrepreneur, but no two ventures are the same.

Because of that, the learning potential of each is entirely unique. With Creative Science, I learned things I couldn’t have through my other companies. Those lessons, as they always do, have made me a better person and a better founder.

With that in mind, here are a few things I know now, that I didn’t know when…


The best product ideas don’t come from your customers.

At least, not in the way you think.

Instead of asking customers what they want, you should be putting on your detective hat and asking through the lens of behavioral science instead.

That’s why I started Creative Science — and it’s what makes me excited to do this work every day.

When product managers and designers develop a deep understanding of human behavior, they can innovate in ways they never thought possible.

The best product ideas don’t come from your customers.

Behavioral science vs. data science

I first want to break down the difference between behavioral…


Do We Care About Our Future Selves?

We often take actions today that negatively impact who we will be down the road. We care in the abstract, after all, why wouldn’t we? However, studies have shown that it’s difficult for us to connect the dots between our present behaviors and future outcomes.

When designing products in the health, finance, and education space, many of the actions we’re encouraging users to take today will impact their future selves such as eating healthier, exercising more, spending smarter, or learning a new skill.


A Startup Idea Was Born

Nick Fritz was sitting with his good friends Ari Kagan and Ivan Dimitrov on a deck, drinking a few beers and kicking around business ideas. Nick and Ari had previously worked at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight under the direction of Dan Ariely, so they were well-versed in integrating behavioral economics into product design.

The Psychology of Giving

Much of their time at the lab was focused on the psychology of giving. They had heard of easy to use finance apps such as Acorns, and they wondered why something similar did not exist in the charity space. The beauty of these products is…


Grocery Store

Think about your last trip to a grocery store, perhaps all you needed was milk. Your plan was to make a quick trip, grab the milk, and be home before dinner time. However, as you walk out of the store, you find yourself leaving with not only the milk, but also a bag of chips, a few candy bars, and a couple boxes of cereal.

…as you walk out of the store, you find yourself leaving with not only the milk

Choice architecture is one of the core principles of behavioral science. It refers to the way that the presentation…


The Challenge

Peer Insight is an innovation firm located in Washington, DC, comprised of a team of brilliant problem solvers. They partner with change-makers to create “net-new” growth, that is, from products and services beyond a company’s existing portfolio.

One of those change-makers is Lauri Kien Kotcher, who, in the mid-2000s, was the SVP of Marketing for Pfizer Consumer Health. Lauri had a weak product in her portfolio: Nicorette. …


Building a Rewards Program

While Julie O’Brien was a team member at OPower, a company that partners with utility providers to provide energy reports for their customers, she noted there was a trend in the market at the time for every service provider to have some type of loyalty program.

Her job was to figure out how to create a rewards program that not only looked great, but also proved to be effective in a very unique market.

Her job was to figure out how to create a rewards program that not only looked great, but also proved to be effective in a very…


From Lawyer to Entrepreneur

Brantley was an estate attorney living in Austin, Texas. He spent his days writing wills for his clients and working with startups. He had a good amount of experience working with tech companies, so he decided to attend a Startup Weekend event. When he got there, everyone was a developer and spoke a different language. Brantley wanted to leave, but someone grabbed him on the way out.

“Where are you going? You have to pitch!”

“I don’t have a pitch,” said Brantley.

“What do you do in your day job that doesn’t add a lot of value?” the guy asked.


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The Race

“What!? How did you win!? I was in first and you were in last the whole time! What happened!?”

My sister Lilly and I were wrapping up an intense game of Mario Kart with our cousins. She was Peach and I was Mario, and I had left by a hefty margin the entire race. As we came around the final lap, she started to catch up, acquiring all sorts of weapons, mushrooms, bananas, and boosters. I was about to cross the finish line and at the very last second… bam!

She shot a turtle shell for a direct hit that…


Make Them Laugh

“Here is a young comedian who works frequently at the Improvisation Los Angeles, and he’s been working on the road with Andy Williams. Would you welcome, Jerry Seinfeld,” announced Johnny Carson.

As the white curtain opens, a young Jerry Seinfeld takes center stage. Dressed in a cream colored suit with a blue tie and a head full of hair, he walks onto the stage, arms wide open as if he were welcoming the crowd. Music plays in the background as the crowd claps. The music begins to fade, and Jerry starts his act.

“Thank you, thank you very much! I…

😎 Nate Andorsky

Entrepreneur blending behavioral economics, data and technology to help changemakers inspire and move people to action. Co-founder @creativesci & member @yec.

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