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What Is IKEA Effect and How to Benefit From It?

For those who don’t know, IKEA is a Swedish multinational group designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, home accessories, etc.

What is IKEA Effect

The IKEA effect is a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created. A 2011 study found that subjects were willing to pay more for furniture they had assembled themselves, than for equivalent pre-assembled items.

Now you might be wondering why we are discussing it on a tech blog? Read on and you would understand how it impacts you as an IT Professional.

When Labor Leads to Love

Normally, when you buy a product from IKEA it requires some level of assembly before the product can be used. The study found that when someone puts labor into something, they start liking it more, even if it is poorly constructed. Hence, the phenomenon,“IKEA effect”, is named in honor of the Swedish manufacturer whose products typically arrive with some assembly required. The study also found that the “IKEA Effect” dissipates when the creations are destroyed. The creation has to stay intact for IKEA effect to be effective.

How you can use IKEA Effect to your advantage?

You might have experienced the IKEA effect even if you didn’t know the term before. To take advantage of this, you need to build things. No matter how small it is. If you are learning a new language, a library or a technology, think of a small business problem and try to solve it using the knowledge that you have. For example, I am upskilling myself in AWS. So first I learn the concepts and then I think of a problem that can be solved using different AWS services. Once you solve it you will value your solution more than anything else even if it’s not of production grade or perfect. This will keep you motivate to learn more and create more. You can also contribute to open source projects. Open source projects are more popular because IKEA effect is in place. Your name gets connected to projects you make contribution to. This gives a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to contribute more.

Also, don’t throw away your solution, instead preserve it using your favorite version control like GitHub, GitLab, etc. Or you can also write blog about it.

Let me know your thoughts in comments !

Now, this post will be incomplete without these memes!

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