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April 15, 2022

When you are in a place that you would rather not be, you are stuck. The position you are in or the thing that you are stuck with has the property of stickiness. From the perspective of the person being stuck, this is an undesirable property. Even if you happen to like the thing you are stuck with for the moment, one always prefers optionality.

Despite this, many businesses strive to make their products sticky. Facebook is incredibly sticky. Lots of people are there, not because they want to but because they must - they are stuck. They end up continuing to use the service because that is where their friends are and events are hosted, even though they don't like it.

A place where people are stuck has no incentive to improve in the short term. The benefit of having a non-sticky service is that there is a steady stream of people leaving, from which you can learn and improve. That keeps you on your toes and that is the only way to make people stick around in the long run.