Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming ProductsHooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The best business book I’ve read. And I’ve read a lot.

If you design products, software, apps, systems, programs, or companies, you have to read this book. Twice. And everyone you work with needs to read it, too.

I read about 15 to 20 books on business, persuasion, psychology, and product design every year. Sometimes more. And I read blogs on strategy, design, and influence every day of my life.

I also use what I learn in these books and blogs every day for a living. I am a persuasive design strategist.

I’m a sucker for books that validate my own favorite thinkers, and it didn’t take long for Nir Eyal to stroll through my pantheon of persuasion artists.

He summarizes B.J. Fogg’s Fogg Behavioral Model better than Fogg:

The Fogg Behavior Model is represented in a formula, B = MAT, which represents that a given behavior will occur when motivation, ability and a trigger are present at the same time and in sufficient degrees. [55] If any component of this formula is missing or inadequate, the user will not cross the “Action Line” and the behavior will not occur.

Eyal, Nir (2013-12-26). Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (Kindle Locations 735-738). Nir Eyal. Kindle Edition.

He credits Robert Cialdini, the godfather of persuasion:

A psychological phenomenon known as the escalation of commitment has been shown to make our brains do all sorts of funny things . The power of commitment makes some people play video games until they keel over and die.  It is used to influence people to give more to charity. It has even been used to coerce prisoners of war into switching allegiances.

Eyal, Nir (2013-12-26). Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (Kindle Locations 1516-1519). Nir Eyal. Kindle Edition.

He helps you apply the “IKEA Effect,” coined by Dan Ariely:

The results showed that those who made their own origami animals valued their creation five times higher than the second group’s valuation, and nearly as high as the expert-made origami values (figure 29). In other words, those who invested labor associated greater value with their paper creations simply because they had worked on them. Ariely calls this the “IKEA effect.”

Eyal, Nir (2013-12-26). Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (Kindle Locations 1531-1534). Nir Eyal. Kindle Edition.

I’ve never read a book that covers all of these subjects so well. But that’s not all. Nir Eyal’s Hooked also give practical steps and tasks you can start using after the first chapter.

Here’s an example:

Do This Now

Refer to the answers you came up with in the last “Do This Now” section to complete the following exercises:

– Review your flow. What “bit of work” are your users doing to increase their likelihood of returning?

– Brainstorm three ways to add small investments into your product to:

- Load the next trigger

- Store value as data, content, followers, reputation and skill

- Identify how long it takes for a “loaded trigger” to re-engage your user.

How can you reduce the delay to shorten cycle-time through the Hook?

Eyal, Nir (2013-12-26). Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (Kindle Locations 1783-1789). Nir Eyal. Kindle Edition.

In other words, this book will make you more valuable to yourself, your family, your products, and your company the minute you pick it up.

But don’t just pick it up; read it. Read all. Highlight and take notes. And put it into action.

Thank you, Nir Eyal. You’ve made the world a better place.

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