I had a great conversation recently with someone about the current state of wellness software (meditation apps etc), and we circled around the concept of intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation is the desire to engage in an activity purely for internal satisfaction. In this behaviour, there are no rewards other than enjoyment of the activity itself.

Extrinsic motivation, in comparison, is the desire to do something because of the outcome that will result by doing that task.

In our conversation we discussed how meditation apps were using extrinsic motivators (like streaks and badges) to encourage an activity whose reward really should the activity itself. The same is true for learning apps like Duolingo. As a user of these apps, there was always something that didn’t quite sit right with the gamification of those experiences. Without intrinsic motivation, streaks and badges aren’t enough to create learning.

This concept can be applied more broadly for teams and companies too. Put simply - teams that enjoy the act of playing together are more likely to win championships.