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📜 Startup Chronicles: 🧠 Cognitive Biases Flashcards - Idea
Trying to solve my own problem - learn about more biases and teach my kids.
I’ve got a new idea that got me excited.
Recently, I realized that I’d been noticing more signals of cognitive biases influencing the thinking of my kids (9 and 14 yo). I realized that I was telling them about this or that bias which was relevant in that particular situation.
I started thinking more about helping my children better understand what influences their perception of the reality and information they consume. And I decided to try something new, but proven - a physical product to teach new information - flashcards.
Also, for my own education, I think this could be a good tool. I’ve read about many cognitive biases in recent years, and even was sharing my learnings through this newsletter for a while. Overall, psychology, as a science, has been very interesting to me for a very long time (my first memory of becoming interested in it goes back to the late 90s).
So, I decided to try this idea and run an experiment - create a set of flashcards teaching the top cognitive biases in a simple format, so even kids can understand and learn from these.
First things first, I decided to search on Amazon. What if this kind of product already exists? After reviewing similar offerings, I haven’t found something that addresses my need that I’d want to buy. There was only one somewhat noticeable offer but with a focus on teachers and helping them teach students. Great reviews, lots of sales, etc.
Still, it didn’t look like something I’d want to buy myself, they focus on teachers and the range of other products in this line feels like focusing on overall social skills, making conversations, etc. This is an amazing problem to work on, but the focus on cognitive biases felt very light-touch.
Other options I found tried to address the same need, but very poorly. So moving forward.
Next, I searched for printing companies that specialize in this kind of product - games. The idea is to have a stack of cards of the most standard format - playing cards. Initially, I asked for a quote from a print shop I’ve used before, but they specialize in business cards and similar jobs. So, if my set has 50 unique cards (1 card per bias), I’d have to order 50 sets, which makes it pretty costly for the experiment (a few thousand dollars).
Then, I asked for advice from a person who had experience in releasing board games and got a couple of recommendations. Eventually, I found a company without a minimum set number, and I think I’ll go with them. The rough estimate for a set with 50 cards, instructions, and a box is around $20, not including delivery. Not too bad, if I can sell it for ~$30. Planning to order 5-10 sets for personal use and try to post it and see if anyone else is interested. With higher volume, the cost will get a couple of bucks per set lower.
I decided to speed up the process of creating this product by utilizing ChatGPT. The initial help is to generate the content for the cards.
Initially, I started broad, trying to understand how many total biases there are. Then, I decided to half the total number and focus on the top 50, hence the estimated set size of the 50 cards.
After some back and forth, I decided to question the foundation of my assumption (of using the top 50 biases):
I liked this suggestion a lot =) First, fewer things to remember is definitely easier for the cognitive load. Second, it opens up more opportunities to grow this product by adding more sets of biases in future, perhaps using some kind of theming to categorize them. But most importantly, it will reduce the cost of each set and the overall cost of the experiment.
Next, I decided to create a more targeted and specific prompt for ChatGPT, so it can help me choose the top 25 to start with. Not every bias is equal, some are more common, and some are more “specialized”. I want to start with the most common ones.
As a result, I decided to go with 25:
I am going to use ChatGPT to help me generate content for each card and some other AI tool (TBD) to help create designs for the cards. After that, I’ll be ordering my first batch of experimental sets. Stay tuned and subscribe if you are curious to follow my journey.
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