Drive (Old Version) Book Summary - Drive (Old Version) Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

Drive (Old Version) summary

Daniel H. Pink

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

4.6 (703 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Drive by Daniel H. Pink explores the science of motivation and argues that providing autonomy, mastery, and purpose is more effective than traditional carrots and sticks.

Table of Contents

    Drive (Old Version)
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    The discovery of intrinsic motivation

    In 1949, a professor of psychology called Harry Harlow gave eight Rhesus monkeys a mechanical puzzle. Their assignment was to pull out a pin and lift a hinge – not exactly what you’d call an easy task for a monkey. Harlow expected that the monkeys wouldn’t concern themselves with it. After all, the experiment was set up so that the primates wouldn’t receive any reward – neither food nor praise – for solving the puzzle. Surprisingly, the monkeys still gave it a go. They recognized how the puzzle worked, and they solved it. What’s more, they seemed to actually be enjoying themselves!

    To the researcher, this came as a big surprise. Until then, there had only been two possible explanations for such behavior: nature and external incentives. But nature clearly wasn’t at work here – solving a puzzle isn’t part of the eat-drink-procreate equation. There weren’t any external incentives present either. So, somehow, there seemed to be a mysterious third kind of drive.

    Enter intrinsic motivation – or, as Pink calls it, Motivation 3.0. It sounds a bit like an app you can download, right? It’s actually called this because Pink sees the three different types of drives as a historical sequence that describes how the way we work has evolved. Let’s take a look at each.

    1. Around 50,000 years ago, mankind was preoccupied with its own survival and driven by Motivation 1.0: the search for food and drink, a safe place to rest at night, and the desire to reproduce and pass on genes. Up until a few centuries ago, these basic needs were the main driving force of humanity.
    2. Then, during the age of industrialization, production cycles became more complex, and people started to rely increasingly on a new impetus for productivity: extrinsic motivation, or Motivation 2.0. This is based on the incentives of reward and punishment – also known as “the carrot and the stick.” The thinking here is that rewards reinforce desirable behavior, while punishment prevents undesirable behavior. During industrialization, this was actually effective – at least to some degree. With the prospect of higher wages in mind, laborers hauled more coal; and when threatened with dismissal for stealing materials, they were less likely to take anything from the workplace.
    3. The problem with version 2.0 is that workers who aren’t driven by the consequences of the carrot or the stick fundamentally have no enthusiasm for their work and will try to shirk any responsibility. Therefore, those in management positions must direct and supervise them. That’s bad news for today’s knowledge economy, which needs autonomous workers. With the carrot and the stick, you can force a worker to show up every day, stay for eight hours, and perform simple tasks. But you can’t force anyone to be curious, creative, and innovative. Instead, you can cater to someone’s intrinsic motivation – you can make them want to be curious, creative, and innovative. And that’s why Pink believes we have to upgrade our economy to Motivation 3.0.
    Want more?
    Read or listen to the key ideas
    from 7,000+ titles

    Key ideas in Drive (Old Version)

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Drive (Old Version) about?

    In Drive, Daniel Pink describes the characteristics of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. He reveals that many companies rely on extrinsic motivation, even though this is often counterproductive. The book explains clearly how we can best motivate ourselves and others by understanding intrinsic motivation.

    Drive (Old Version) Review

    Drive (Old Version) (2009) explores the science behind human motivation and provides insights into what truly drives us. That's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It offers compelling evidence on why traditional motivators like rewards and punishments are ineffective and how tapping into intrinsic motivation leads to better results.
    • The book uncovers the surprising factors that motivate us, such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose, which can transform how we approach work and life.
    • With its engaging anecdotes and practical advice, the book goes beyond theory to provide actionable strategies for cultivating motivation and achieving success.

    Who should read Drive (Old Version)?

    • Anyone who wants to learn about the components of human motivation
    • Anyone who wants to find out how to effectively motivate themselves and others

    About the Author

    Daniel Pink studied linguistics and jurisprudence. He rose to prominence with his book A Whole New Mind. Along with Drive, other books of his have ranked in the New York Times Bestseller list, including To Sell is Human, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko and Free Agent Nation. Between 1995 and 1997, Pink was chief speechwriter for US Vice President Al Gore.

    Categories with Drive (Old Version)

    Book summaries like Drive (Old Version)

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Drive (Old Version) FAQs 

    What is the main message of Drive (Old Version)?

    The main message of Drive (Old Version) is that motivation comes from autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

    How long does it take to read Drive (Old Version)?

    The reading time for Drive (Old Version) varies. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Drive (Old Version) a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Drive (Old Version) is worth reading for its insights on motivation and what truly drives us. A valuable book in its genre.

    Who is the author of Drive (Old Version)?

    The author of Drive (Old Version) is Daniel H. Pink.

    How many chapters are in Drive (Old Version)?

    Drive (Old Version) consists of several chapters.

      How many pages are in Drive (Old Version)?

      Drive (Old Version) contains X pages.

      When was Drive (Old Version) published?

      Drive (Old Version) was published in X.

      What to read after Drive (Old Version)?

      If you're wondering what to read next after Drive (Old Version), here are some recommendations we suggest:
      • The Power of Regret by Daniel Pink
      • The Purpose Effect by Dan Pontefract
      • When by Daniel H. Pink
      • Start With Why by Simon Sinek
      • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
      • The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters
      • Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed
      • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
      • All It Takes Is a Goal by Jon Acuff
      • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene