Article | August 6, 2019

Q&A With Nir Eyal, Bestselling Author Of "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products"

Source: Revulytics

By Keith Fenech, Revulytics

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Revulytics sponsors a series of Product Management Today webinars featuring innovative ideas from top software product management thought leaders. In these blog posts, we ask the presenters to share their insights - we encourage you to watch the full on-demand webinars for even more details.

Nir Eyal is the author of the best-selling book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and the forthcoming Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life(he’s also giving Revulytics blog readers who pre-order Indistractable the full PDF of the book and a complimentary 80-page workbook!).

In his webinar, Nir revealed the patterns that explain why some products and services are incredibly sticky, and how companies like Facebook, Twitter, GitHub, and Slack became masters of retention and engagement. We discuss his insights on building habit-forming products that have powerful and positive impacts on users’ lives.

To begin, what do you mean by “habit”? 

A habit is an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought. About half of what you do every day is done from habit. There are good or bad habits. In our industry, we can use habits to help people live happier, healthier more engaged and productive lives.

There’s a big difference between a habit and an addiction. Addictions are persistent, compulsive dependencies that hurt the user. Everything I teach is about persuasion: helping to build healthy habits into peoples’ lives, so they do what they already want to do.

There’s an ethical line crossed when you keep someone using your product when you know they don’t want to. That’s coercion. I’d put addiction in that category. Some companies need to worry about this, but most have the opposite problem: “I have a great product that would really help my customer if I could only get them to use it.” That’s what I’m teaching you.