Money Can’t Buy (All) The Happiness

People who say “money can’t buy happiness” have obviously never lived under a bridge. Money can buy happiness, certainly in the form of one’s safety, shelter, and food. So logically you could think

“…if a little money buys some happiness…a lot of money buys a lot of happiness…I need more money to be happy!

But unfortunately,  we as humans aren’t wired that way.  Research has shown that people have a base level of happiness built into their lives. As good things happen, and bad things happen we tend to slide back to that base level.

I’m sure we have all gone through the phase of having to have the latest “thing”. We see it, we desire it, we literally crave it….then we finally obtain it. It feels great; then…we forget why we wanted it in the first place. Welcome to the Hedonic Treadmill

Studies show that the difference in happiness from earning $5,000 a year to $50,000 a year is dramatic. This type of change allows one to purchase shelter, food, and security. But the level of happiness from $50,000 a year to $50,000,000 is nearly identical.


Why It’s Hot

So if it’s not stuff that makes us happy, what will? Experience. The time we spend with friends and family, the adventures we take, the people we help – these are the keys to moving your overall base level of happiness. Experience acts as a differentiator not only in life but also in the market. Brands and products who go beyond the physical good and offer experience will achieve more customer loyalty and find brand fans quicker.



… So money DOES buy happiness?

A study done by the National Academy of Sciences found that paying other people to do your tedious distasteful tasks could lead to more happiness. Based on a survey of nearly 4,500 people from the US, Denmark, Canda, and the Netherlands. About 28% of individuals surveyed actually reported spending money to save time. Regardless of income, people seemed to have benefited from buying more time for themselves.

The researchers were able to establish a link between buying time and happiness. They also found that spending money to save time actually appeared to reduce time-related stress as well as increasing well-being.

Why it’s hot:
Everyone always says “money doesn’t buy happiness” but is this study proving that statement wrong? Money can definitely buy comfort and more convenience. Just take a look at TaskRabbit, they’ve been ahead of the game as they provide services from cleaning to minor repairs.


Money DOES Talk!

When we think of digital businesses and how they should market themselves, the obvious channels to promote them are, well, digital. It’s rare to see them break the mold and, moreover, do it successfully. But it happens!

The charitable app, Entourage,  which gives people a platform to organize efforts to help the homeless, wanted to promote itself and its cause. Instead of following the digital-path well traveled, it opted to use the oldest and most viral medium. Money.

€5 Bills were stamped with the name of the app and homeless people were asked to add their own hand-written notes on the bills. The messages were meant to humanize the homeless community while creating a viral effect for the app. Since the money remained in rotation indefinitely, it will continue to exchange hands and pass on the message.

Why It’s Hot:

-Campaign promotes a digital platform through one of the oldest “viral” objects in human history

-Turned an object that we all use and exchange with each other on a daily basis into a free media channel

-This goes to show “limited budgets” are no excuse for not developing groundbreaking work

Everyday It’s Getting Easier And Cheaper To Move Money. Middleman Beware.


Stellar is a decentralized protocol for sending and receiving money in any pair of currencies. This means users can, for example, send a transaction from their Yen balance and have it arrive in Euros, Yen, or even Bitcoin. The service is expecting to support the usual categories of transactions: payments to a merchant, remittances back home, or rent splits with a roommate.

You can hold a balance with a gateway, which is any network participant you trust to accept a deposit in exchange for credit on the network. Stellar also comes with a built-in digital currency, referred to as the stellar, which is given away for free. The currency will have value (as determined by the market); however, its primary function is providing a conversion path between other currencies.

(source: Stellar)

Why It’s Hot

 Stellar is the latest currency scheme from the tech world to help move the financial system into the present. It is being financed by Stripe, the online payment system amongst some other key players such as MIT Media Lab, Mozilla, and previous senior executives from PayPal and Square. This currency scene is starting to get quite crowded but there are three two key areas as to why Stellar sticks out among the trees in the forest. The service is the almost free, charging $0.0000000027 per transaction. This quickly eliminates any pricey middlemen that would normally take a nice percentage for this service. And secondly, the service is incredibly fast. Stellar can complete and verify transfers almost instantly. Giving the two parties little doubt as to whether payment was sent and received.

The most intriguing bit of the service is that it is open-source. So, developers can build payment and transaction apps around the service. A developer could build an app similar to PayPal that could send money to friends in other countries and not have to worry about converting the currency. If a country does not have an easy way to convert one currency to another, then the service will substitute in the use of virtual currency.

A system like Stellar could catch on very quickly for those that often have to wire money back to family living in another country or for small business e-commerce  where it is currently too much of a hassle to engage third party services(banks, Western Union) to convert foreign currency.