Book Review: Drive by Dan Pink

I really enjoyed Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink. I quote Dan Pink in just about every talk I give ever since I read his book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.

In Drive he talks about rewards as motivation and how they apply to the work place with some pretty startling results. It turns out that really big bonuses actually make us perform worse. People focus so much on the bonus that they get really nervous and do worse.

He also talks about the things that make us perform better like:

  • autonomy (self-direction and being engaged),
  • mastery (getting better at something) and
  • purpose.

He uses open source software projects of examples of how that works.

For an entertaining 10 minute version of the book check out this video:

(I wish I could do presentations like that. I am now working on that!)

Thanks to Barbara Hueppe for the pointer to the video. She passed it on as an excellent example of what motivates communities like Mozilla’s community.