Moving Towards a Goal: How Jerry Seinfeld Gamified His Path Towards Success

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.

Jerry had an interesting technique to ensure he was consistently making progress toward his larger goals.

Jerry’s Trick

Jerry had an interesting technique to ensure he was consistently making progress toward his larger goals. It’s a trick that seems simple but is quite powerful and plays right into the way that humans are wired. Throughout his career, as he worked continuously toward perfecting his craft, he made a commitment to write one joke per day. Every day, one joke. Not an entire routine, not an entire monologue, but simply one joke, every single day.

A Sense of Movement

This strategy provided Jerry with a sense of movement toward a large, distant goal. Without this kind of visual reminder, it would be easy to feel as though he wasn’t progressing toward that goal at all. But it did something even greater, whether he realized it or not, it tapped into the core of human behavior. Jerry’s technique was one that would eventually inform the success of one of the most widely used online learning platforms Duolingo.

Decoding the Why — How Behavioral Science is Driving the Next Generation of Product Design.

In this article series, I share excerpts and stories from my book, Decoding the Why.

Decoding the Why Book

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