I’m typing as much as I can!

Sent by Jonathan Stark on June 7th, 2019

What do you think would happen if you were paid per keystroke?

Not per character that appears in your final deliverable, but for every single time you pressed a key on your keyboard in the process of creating your deliverable. Even including keys like shift, option, control, command, and even delete.

I’ll tell you what would happen:

You’d press more keys.

You might not do it on purpose. It might not even rise to a conscious level.

But over time and through a series of seemingly inconsequential and/or subconscious decisions, you’d end up typing more than if you were NOT paid by the keystroke.

For example, you’d be incentivized to:

We could argue about whether or not you’d give in to any or all of these incentives, but you can’t deny that the incentive exists in each case.

The insidious thing about incentives is that you become blind to them pretty quickly. Over a long enough time span, you might find that you somehow ended up doing all these things and more without ever consciously deciding to.

Now ask yourself:

How long have you been billing by the hour?

If your answer is “a long time” you have to wonder how many time-based financial incentives you have subconsciously succumbed to over the years:

For anyone who had been billing hourly, I can almost guarantee that the true answer to some or all of these questions is “No” because when you are trading time for money they’re all bad for your income.

Yours,

—J