Riut blog

We're the worst people (Louis C.K.): why we need a Revolution in user thinking


"I hate Verizon. I hate Verizon." (What are you talking about? How could that feeling even exist?) "Why, did they fire you and take your pension away?"

"No, just a couple of times it was weird for a second. I hate them."

(Well, make your own! Make your own Verizon network. Get some hub caps and climb some trees.)

Louis C.K.

As comedian Louis C.K. reminds us, life is incredible these days and yet all we can do is complain. So it's time to stop whining and either 1) appreciate how amazing everything is around us or 2) come up with an idea to improve things.

Revolution in user thinking

Revolution in user thinking (Riut) is the belief that you don't have to be a rocket scientist to come up with a new idea. We - normal people - use hundreds of objects, products and services every day. As users, we know better than most where their problems lie.

If you have a complaint you have actually found something that could be improved upon. That goes for anything you use from pens that run out, to odd socks, holding hot cups of tea, being low on fuel, losing keys and annoying neighbours with sound systems - whatever you use.

Whilst this obsession with the complaint sounds negative, Revolution in user thinking comes from a quite different place. It comes from an appreciation that each object around us has been conceived of, designed, prototyped and made - whether you hate it or not. There was a point where it didn't exist and now it does. It probably took weeks if not years for the chair you're sitting on to come into being.

We're the worst people so far

Louis C.K. is convinced we've never had it so good. We're surrounded by amazing stuff and all we can do is moan about it. On the topic of smartphones, we complain - "I hate my phone" - the moment they are even a little slow.

Louis excerpts from this video: Could you give it a second? Could you just wait a second? Your message is going to space and back. Is it taking too long for your message to go to space and come back? Even the shitiest cellphone in the world is a miracle! Why do we expect everything to be perfect when we don't contribute in any way?!

If you're finding this Revolution in user thinking stuff too much, here's Louis C.K. explaining it beautifully

In the Revolution in user thinking, each of these complaints is actually a great thing. It means there is still more that can happen and will change in the future. It means each one of us could come up with, and implement, an idea which stops the busses being late, which helps us sleep better, makes us spend our money more wisely or don't trip over our shoe laces.

"But they've already got something that does those things," I hear you say. Well, dear pessimist, they don't work and we're not all using them. So there's room for something new that works. And you could be the one to come up with it, change your life and other people's.

"Fine", you think, getting back to your life. No no. I'm saying you have ideas every day which could make your life better and stop people complaining. And, if you want to, you can do it. Listen to your complaint, think about how you could improve it and have a go.

Let's stop being the worst people ever. That's the idea. Revolution in user thinking. But Riut, for short. (How am I supposed to pronounce that?)


Help me out on my own Revolution in user thinking. I'm redesigning the rucksack for commuters and urban users. I'm a bootstrapping startup so my market research this year is via online surveys. 2 mins, no data registration. Here it is.