Chapter 1 Summary
In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink suggests that the world currently does not acknowledge one of the human drives that motivates us in the twenty-first century. The world does acknowledge the biological drive, which Pink refers to as “Motivation 1.0," that urges people to eat and to procreate. It also acknowledges external motivations, like rewards and punishments, which Pink refers to as "Motivation 2.0." However, Pink argues that there is a third drive that motivates people, one that is actually hampered by rewards and punishments.
Pink summarizes Harry F. Harlow's 1949 experiment on primates, which found that the ability of monkeys to solve puzzles was inhibited by rewards and punishments. Harlow posited that the performance of the task offered an intrinsic reward. His research into motivation was largely ignored, and motivation systems based on rewards and punishments continued to thrive. However, when Pink looks at the rise in popularity and growth of Wikipedia, the preponderance of open-source software like Mozilla Firefox and Apache, and the emergence of the “low-profit limited liability company,” he sees evidence of the power of Harlow's third drive. Traditional businesses that seek to maximize profits often rely on “Motivation 2.0,” whereas these new entities are “purpose maximizers.” Pink argues that they are “unsuited to this older operating system because they flout its very principles.”
Pink recalls that his economics professors taught him that people would seek to maximize wealth. However, this interpretation of human behavior assumed that people were rational calculators, an assumption that was overturned by Daniel Kahneman's work and which led to Dan Ariely's book, Predictably Irrational. Motivation 2.0 assumes that people are “robotic wealth-maximizers,” but that view of human motivation is no longer compatible with what economists know about...
(The entire section is 546 words.)