The “Dah-dee-chee” effect

shortly after moving to Korea last year i became a regular at a takeaway-only cafe on the 1st floor of my apartment building, called 다디치 (“dah-dee-chee”).

at just $0.80 USD for an iced americano, it’s a steal. tastes good, too. or does it?

in 2021 i’ve visited over 50 cafes in Seoul, ordering an iced americano at each one. and every time i asked myself, “is this good?” but what i was really asking myself was, “how does this compare to 다디치?

the results are in, and they’re not pretty. i prefer 다디치 coffee over any coffee i’ve ever had in my life. not because 다디치 is the best. but because 다디치 is the most familiar.

a similar kind of preference corruption happened in my taste for burgers, t-shirts, and mattress density. i no longer have an objective sense about what’s best, only what is closest to my expectation.

as innovators, we have a habit of making “new” things in a “new” way. but customers aren’t always looking for something new. sometimes they just want to rip open the box and click play.

write instruction manuals at your own risk.