The Heretic Logo


The Heretic is a free bi-weekly dispatch delivering insights into leadership in exponential times. For entrepreneurs, corporate irritants and change makers. Raw, unfiltered and opinionated.

be radical.
Disrupt Disruption
Build What Matters

Feb 17th, 2014 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Theory Of Change

We’re back! After a two week (vacation-induced) hiatus, which Jane and I spent traveling in Ethiopia, we are back in the Bay Area. And I have lots of exciting things planned for the near future. More on this soon…

Non-profit organizations talk a lot about their “theory of change” — a methodology to highlight causal linkages in an initiative (“if we install a fresh water well in this community we reduce bacterial infections by x% due to reduced exposure to water-borne diseases”).

It’s a pretty powerful concept for any startup — not just non-profits: The best (and arguably most successful) startups nudge their users toward a behavioral change. Once you get your user to change their behavior towards your product you won. Take Instagram: For a whole bunch of people Instagram became the go-to photo app — they changed their behavior from using the photo app which came with their smartphone toward Instagram. Instagram’s theory of change goes something like this: “We give people awesome filters which make even mediocre snapshots look great and make it easy for them to share those pics with their friends and thus become the go-to photo app.”

I am pretty sure that the Instagram team made these decisions very deliberately.

What’s your theory of change?

1,203 Posts and Counting.
Don't miss the next post. Sign up now!