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Palmer T.


San Francisco, CA
Hometown: San Francisco

Member since:

May 2, 2012

We are highly selective with admitting new members (~20% admit rate), so fully completed profile questions will get priority. What is your full name and LinkedIn profile URL?

My full name is John Palmer Truelson and I go by my middle name Palmer. Though behavior change is one of the hot topics around mobile design, I still feel we've yet to really crack how to do it well. I spent my time beforehand making games and building virtual worlds, but I've really wanted to devote myself to helping people, more than providing entertainment. Changing habits for the better is hard. And doing so really requires a thorough understanding of psychology, something that benefits design in more ways than just aiding the creation of positive habit formation. It helps you design better interfaces, design your development environment, and change how you look at the world.

What is the nature of your interest in designing experiences for personal habit development?

No answer yet

Can you share a 5-minute personal story about a successful habit practice that's lasted longer than 100 days? If so, please give us just a quick synopsis!

I wanted to start my own company because I wanted to experiment with my work environment to a greater extent than I could in an organization. After about a year of experimenting, I found that a standing desk, using the "don't break the chain" technique to keep certain chosen habits going, the pomodoro technique for time management, fencing off Facebook, Twitter, and the New York Times from my computer and iPhone, changing my RSS feed to only engineering and design writers, good use of pivotal tracker by making as fine grain goals as possible, and many other techniques, I had a ridiculously productive two months of design and coding. However, at the end of it, I was pretty burned out, so I'm still tweaking habits. But, I got an alpha version of a caregiver health app we're working on.

Which (if any) relevant guest speaker(s) could you contact to speak at a future meetup with whom you already have a personal relationship?

Adam Grant (organizational psychologist at Wharton who studies impact), Aza Raskin, Cory Ondrejka (don't know if he has behavior change expertise right now, but he's a great speaker), Jean Miller (my co-founder and also a really good speaker), Jacob Rothstein (very talented engineer with a really interesting psychology background), Mark Ferlatte (a really talented engineer who knows a great deal about habits and organizations). For any of these folks, they'd need to be in town. But if in town, I could try to get them to speak. No guarantees, but I feel fine asking any of them and can probably think of more if I put my head into it.

Which specific host locations (if any) could you contact to host/sponsor a future meetup?

Hmm... it might be possible to get an auditorium at Mission Delores, but that does cost a bit of money. For free, I'm not sure about a big venue...


My name is Palmer Truelson, co-founder of Dogpatch Technology ( and VERY interested in the usual... health, behavior change, increasing feedback, and all especially in mobile.

What Palmer T. is saying about this Meetup Group

Very useful for meeting some great designers in the area.

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