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A Preview of Hooked – How To Build Habit Forming Products with Nir Eyal


Things you should know about Hooked according to Nir Eyal


In this episode, Nir Eyal shares his book Hooked where he teaches you why very few products see success and what makes consumers engage with certain products out of habit.

In his book, Eyal gives you a four-step process for figuring out exactly what you should build into your product to make it better than the rest. The goal of Hooked is to have your products bring consumers back continuously without depending on costly advertising and messaging.

This book is perfect for entrepreneurs who are having troubles creating or getting a product to stick and need actionable steps for building products people love.

The Book’s Unique Quality (2:44)

I couldn’t find that book out there that told me what resources and tools I could use to figure out what I should build into my product.

The Best Way To Engage (4:27)

If you are working on the kind of product that requires repeat engagement then you need to have what I call the complete hook, a four step process to creating customer habits. However, even If you are building a one-time use service there is still a lot that you can learn from consumer psychology by understanding these deeper reasons that people do what they do and I believe you can get the outline of that by jumping in and out of the book. I really hope that the reader gets to the end because I believe that there is a lot here that can help people save a lot of time and energy in building their businesses.

The Reader’s Takeaway (13:17)

The one principle I would want the reader to take out of the book is that your behavior is designed.

A Deep Dive Into The Book (5:37)

The book follows this model that I call The Hook which is basically a design pattern. It’s something that I found in my years of research that is in all sorts of habit forming products. So my research revealed this four step process which I detail throughout the chapters of the book.

The first step in The Hook is The Trigger phase. The trigger phase is something that cues the user to action; it’s what prompts the habit. These triggers come in two types, internal triggers and external triggers. External triggers are things in our environment that tells us what to do next. This is what most people think of when they think about cues to action. Internal triggers are these things that prompt the user to action and there information for what to do next is actually in the users head. So what people do when they are in a particular situation, routine or when they feel certain emotions this dictates what they do next. If your company can attach to these negative emotions, this is where habits are formed. It’s absolutely critical that if you want to build a habit forming product you have to figure out what that internal trigger is.
The next step of The Hook is The Action phase. The action phase is the simplest behavior that the user does in anticipation of a reward. If you can make a behavior easier to do you are more likely to get that behavior to occur.

Then the next chapter is about variable rewards. It turns out that at the heart of all sorts of habit forming products you will find a variable reward. I details three critical types of variable rewards found in all sorts of habit forming products both online and offline.

Finally, the last step of The Hook is The Investment phase. It’s the part of the hook that I find most companies neglect as well as where there is the most room for growth and opportunity. It turns out that this phase is absolutely critical in bringing users back and it’d defined as the step where the user does a bit of work to increase the likelihood of them returning. I detail how you can ask people to invest in the product so that they can come back in the future whereas the product gets better the more it gets used.

At the end of the book I give some case studies and I profile an app that’s one of the most successful apps in the world, the bible app and I detail how this app uses the principles of consumer psychology to keep people coming back to use it. I also talk about the morality of manipulation, that if you’re using consumer psychology to change people’s behavior, I offer up a guide for how to use this responsibly.

Notable Quotes From The Book (14:36)

“Hooked gives you the blueprint for the next generation of products. Read Hooked or the company that replaces you will.” –Matt Mullenweg

The Credibility/Inspiration Of The Author (0:36)

I’ve started two tech companies and after my last company was acquired I dove into the more academic side of consumer psychology and habit formation which is what I’ve been working on for the past three years.

I was at my last company and was banging my head against the wall trying to figure out why my customers weren’t doing the behaviors that I designed for them to do. I wanted to dive deeper into consumer psychology, into the things that people are not able to necessarily articulate and yet predictably drive their behavior. So I couldn’t find that book out there that told me what resources and tools I could use to figure out what I should build into my product.

Other Recommended Books (15:25)

Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham

More Information About This Book and The Author

Buy Hooked on Amazon today

Visit HookModel.com for bundles of content

Visit NirAndFar.com to read Nir’s personal blog

Follow Nir Eyal on Facebook and Twitter

More Information About This Episode

Download the full transcript here

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher , and SoundCloud

Related books: Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters | Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg | Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

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Wade is a 4-time serial entrepreneur and is the Founder/Host of The Entrepreneurs Library. With a long time passion for reading books, Wade created an online resource and podcast for entrepreneurs who love to read personal and business development books. His long-term goal in life is to start an entrepreneurial home schooling program for children of business-minded families.