No Talking™: The key to a good life

Bad things happen when people talk. I don’t know how best to describe this except by jumping into some examples.

Example 1: Tele-marketing Calls

This is a prime example of talking. You get an unsolicited call from a tele-marketer. They start off with something like this: “Hello, my name is Josh and I’m calling on behalf of an organization called Eat My Shorts…”. Their intro is about 30 seconds to 1 minute long. It’s unbearable. At this point when I start hearing a caller start with a long intro about the organization they are calling on behalf of, I hang up. If they were going to be interesting to me, why would I not already know about them via non-talking channels like Facebook? Simple answer - I’m not interested already! Talking won’t help. Clearly I don’t need their product or service.

Assessment 1: Tele-marketers talk because their product is not a fit for you, so they think that a “human touch” will create an opportunity to push you over to buying their product. That is fraudulent because they are trying to force a response from you, rather than let a natural product-market fit manifest itself. In this day and age, if a product has not already made its way to me via automated non-talking channels, then it’s of no interest to me. So the talking here is a waste of time and tele-marketers really need to stop talking.

Example 2: Haggling

Ever been in a line of people trying to check out and someone is holding the line up because they think they can get a discount they’re not entitled to? Or ever worked with an enterprise customer who threatens you with leaving unless you give them a discount (and thereby making it obvious that they value your product but simply don’t want to pay as much for it). That’s talking. And none of that talking adds any value to the world.

Assessment 2: Hagglers are a waste of time. People who complain about price are people who lack the resources to see the value rather than the price tag. Hagglers should stop talking.

Example 3: Uber or Lyft Driver

Some drivers get their passengers, but some just don’t. I get in an Uber or Lyft between tasks and that is typically the only time I get to think about something that happened that day and think about what I’m going to do next. It’s my time in transit to gather my thoughts. And it is constantly robbed of me. As much as I care deeply that drivers have a good life so they can keep driving and keep living like human beings, they can do so just as easily without my knowing about it. What benefit do they get by telling me about their lives? I certainly derive no benefit from it. That’s talking, and it shouldn’t happen.

Assessment 3: A total stranger (in this case a cab driver) who is a party to a transaction with you, just can’t keep to themselves. I don’t appreciate the small talk. If you’re going to talk, make it useful to me. Drivers should stop talking and drive.

Example 4: Cashier at a Restaurant

No explanation needed. If I have to explain this one, then that’s talking.

Assessment 4: Shutting the mouth of yapping restaurant staff is SUCH a pervasive problem that there are entire industries invented to circumvent that horrendous talking experience.

  • Online Food Ordering: GrubHub understands this concept very well. Grubhub’s business scales because people don’t talk to them, and don’t talk to the restaurants either.

Grubhub knows that food tastes better when you never had to talk to anyone to get it, which means life is better.

  • Eatsa: a restaurant devoted to ensuring their customers have the best experience dining, by eliminating the talking. Eatsa knows that their food tastes better when you never had to talk to anyone to get it. Lines are talking, people are talking, but automated machines are no talking!

Generally there is a pattern to all these incidents of talking. They are all talking during a transaction. Surely, I love talking in a social setting. But when transacting with others, skip the talk, just walk the walk. An industry that can eliminate the talking always wins over an industry that talks. Here is the proof:

Why is Airbnb worth more than the Hilton? Because the Hilton still takes old-school phone bookings (talking), acquires and develops properties (talking), and hires and manages uneducated staff (talking). Airbnb’s staff is pulled from only the educated elite (no talking - the educated are already pre-managed and pre-motivated, so no need to talk!), has no properties (no talking), and only takes online do-it-yourself bookings (no talking).

When was the last time you ever talked to Dropbox? Probably never. They don’t want to talk to you, and you don’t want to talk to them. Yet you’ll still pay them $99/year for your 1 TB, and have a great Internet relationship. They don’t need to waste their time talking to you, and you don’t need to waste your time talking to them. It just works for you. You love them, they love you. No talking. Everyone wins.

No talking™: the key to a good life.