#39 — The Paradox of Choice

These are your choices in aisle 8. Where do you even start?

Every consumer category has looked like this for a few decades.

And B2B markets have quickly followed. 100s of vendors now compete in every category of spend. There are now lumascapes for lumascapes if you can believe it.

So we live in a world with infinite options — at home and at work.

Last week, I came across a 2005 book called The Paradox of Choice by psychologist Barry Schwartz. Schwartz talks about the psychology of living in a world with infinite choice. He argues that consumers are frustrated, overwhelmed, and anxious about choosing the wrong thing.

I can’t predict the future. But I have a hard time imagining how this trend slows down. So when I think about pursuing new ideas, I expect to need a very strong answer to this problem. None of us want our ideas getting lost on aisle 8.

How do you think about navigating a world with infinite choice?

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Rebekah Bastian (OwnTrail CEO & Co-Founder), talks about opening to possibility, assessing risk, and blazing your own trail.

On normalizing the twists and dips:

“I think the more you have those kind of unexpected turns or failures or any of those other things, and the more you see people you're close to having those, you start to feel a sense of confidence.”

On belonging vs inclusion:

“Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, and then belonging is dancing like nobody is looking. And you really need to get to that belonging state to share your ideas and share your dance moves, metaphorically. Otherwise, you can have people that are hired into a company, and even included at the table, but if they don't feel comfortable to speak up and share opposing viewpoints or really contribute their perspectives, you're not going to reap the benefits of that.