Questions for Daniel Pink re Motivation


We are fortunate to be scheduled Sunday to interview Daniel Pink, Author of several books, most recently Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (#35 presently at Amazon.)

Here's a TED presentation by Daniel: Daniel's research and findings about what motivates us in the workplace, in startups, to create, to build stand traditional management "sticks and carrots" on its head. Could one of the reasons getting to market with a new product - in your own startup or an established company - is so damn hard is our wrong ideas about how motivation really works?

Please add questions for Daniel here, and thanks for helping us raise the game at the Startup Success Podcast ( )

Motivation Tssp

asked Mar 3 '10 at 07:05
Bob Walsh
2,620 points
  • My god you are getting some awesome guests lately! – John Mac Intyre 14 years ago
  • Thanks! It's amazing what you can get done when you're not doing it for money. – Bob Walsh 14 years ago

2 Answers


Working with exciting new technology may sound like something that motivates you, but is it really?? I work with exciting new technologies and used to think that was part of my motivation- but I learned otherwise.

I took up pottery for a hobby. There is nothing new in pottery- it's all been done by someone before you at some point in the last 4,000 years. What I did learn is that I love to create things. Once a pot is done there is nothing more you can do with it. I lose interest in the pot as soon as it is finished. All I am really interested in is creating new things. I could care less about those things once they are finished. (There is a rush when someone buys your pot because they are temporarily validating your creative side.) So back to creating a product. I find that in my case when working with an existing product unless there is something new to add to that product I have no interest in working on it. The only way to motivate me is to let me create new things. And then clear them away so I have more space to create anew.

answered Mar 3 '10 at 10:02
Gary E
12,510 points
  • Good one Gary - I think this "motivation thing" has been a set of unexamined assumptions for too long. We code apps. How do we "code" motivation to keep fresh/creative? – Bob Walsh 14 years ago


Part of what drives people to work at startups is working on new and exciting technology. How do you maintain that excitement when you have to move from the exciting new technology mode to the sustaining mode?

How do you balance employee development with getting your product to market?

Since the whole "carrot and stick" management techniques are so ingrained, how do you change that attitude when you hire for your startup?

answered Mar 3 '10 at 07:48
Jarie Bolander
11,421 points
  • Great questions Jarie - And really interesting when you realize they apply to "managing" ourselves as well as managing an org. How/when do you associate Task X with Motivation I? – Bob Walsh 14 years ago
  • Thanks. I just picked up his book Drive and find it pretty interesting. Looking forward to your interview. – Jarie Bolander 14 years ago

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Motivation Tssp