Their job is to design addictions

“The tobacco industry designs cigarettes to be addictive. How long will you let them control you?”

Those happened to be lines from an anti-smoking commercial. What caught my attention, though, was that those same lines, altered slightly, could fit any industry.

Don’t all companies try to design their products to be addictive? Isn’t that how they make more money?

  • McDonald’s chemically modifies its hamburgers so you and I will crave more, even if we’ve just eaten.
  • Apple builds its iPods so you and I will continue to buy our new favorite singles from iTunes, even if we have thousands of songs already.
  • Even the News Channel structures its programs so you and I will tune in each day to catch the weather report for… tomorrow.

Designing addictions is nothing personal – it’s just their job.