Extremely valuable book for anyone building products designed to engage people frequently. Given that I think daily about how to make Goodreads betterExtremely valuable book for anyone building products designed to engage people frequently. Given that I think daily about how to make Goodreads better and more engaging for people, this was a useful book. I think I knew a lot of it already, but often being forced to think about things again can be useful - and there are a few useful new ways of thinking about things that I learned.
One of the main useful ideas the book talks about in engaging users is having triggers to bring the user back to the product. This can be an external trigger - like an email or notification or ad that brings the user back - but the best products also form internal triggers. Ever get bored or lonely and find yourself on Facebook? Or wondering what is happening in the world and end up on Twitter? Or see something beautiful or inspiring and then pull out Instagram? Or feel the need to escape and relax and open a book or turn on a movie or a sports game? Our emotions often drive our behavior, and each emotion is mapped to a set of products we could use to "scratch the itch" of whatever we are feeling. These mappings become habits.
I think my favorite external triggers mentioned in the book were from the bible app example, where it sent a push notification to people if they walked into a strip club! And it sent another one on xmas day that did well. Timely matters!
Nir then talks about how to get users to take actions. The framework is obvious, but very true, and useful to remember when evaluating products. It's fairly well summed up in the below quote. There was a lot of good discussion about point #2 in terms of having simple design, being mobile, etc.
Another point Nir makes around actions - which is also an obvious one but worth really paying attention to when designing a product - is around getting frequent engagement with a product when a user is new to it.
The author then talks about variable rewards. I've known that variability - or serendipitousness as I like to think of it - is a very important driver of any engaging product. It's why we love sports, gambling, games, Facebook newsfeed, and good stories - not knowing what we'll find is exciting. Nir breaks down variable rewards into three types - the tribe, the hunt, and the self. The tribe is social validation - think of Facebook likes on content you posted. The hunt is something intrinsic in our brains that dates back to prehistoric times when we literally lived for the hunt - think of hunting for interesting content on your Twitter feed, or gambling looking for payoffs. The self is more for personal gratification - wanting to complete a puzzle you started or beat a video game you started. ...more
A thought-provoking book about what makes people succeed. I thought it would be useful as a parent, but it wasn't really focused on children at all -A thought-provoking book about what makes people succeed. I thought it would be useful as a parent, but it wasn't really focused on children at all - it was more about our education system.
It was interesting to me that it could be proven that getting a GED had no positive correlation on future success. It was even more interesting that they could correlate adverse childhood experiences to negative adult outcomes. Stress, it turns out, is very harmful especially to younger people. Stress activates a physiological system in our bodies that evolved in order to deal with physical emergencies, but we turn it on for months and years on end, worrying about mortgages, relationships, and other such stuff that comes with a stressful life. It was interesting that the primary way to battle stress in young ones is having a good mother, who hugs/touches her kids a lot.
A lot of the rest of the book was examining various qualities of successful kids. It seems we are early in our understanding of this issue, but it was interesting learning about all the thinking and experiements that have been done. I think this quote sums up the best thesis of where we are:
Great book. Quick read, and you learn about about psychology that you can apply to life or business.
A few notes: - All about first impressions. First iGreat book. Quick read, and you learn about about psychology that you can apply to life or business.
A few notes: - All about first impressions. First impressions can sway our opinion of something for years to come regardless of subsequent performance. - Labels matter. If you label someone as a higher performer, top of class, leader, having command potential, etc - it will translate into them actually having it. My high school motto was Principes Non Homines (leaders not men) - now I know why they thought that would work. - When we brand or label people they take on the characteristics of the diagnosis. - People are easily swayed when other people they deal with are decent or nice or fair to them. You enjoy a restaurant 10 times more if the waiter is really nice, regardless of the food (the product). Same goes for any service or business relationship. - Heightened adrenaline levels lead to higher levels of romantic interest - We have "two engines" running in our brain that don't operate simultaneously. So we usually approach things from either an altruistic perspective or a self-interested one. Money (self-interest) is not always the best motivator - sometimes pride (in your country, your city, what you do) will inspire people much more. ...more
A very useful book about the growth mindset. Essentially, the book makes a case that those peopleRecommended in Stanford Magazine and by Guy Kawasaki.
A very useful book about the growth mindset. Essentially, the book makes a case that those people who look at everything they do in life as a learning opportunity are much more successful.
I think where this comes into play most often is when we face a setback, or a failure. Whether thats getting rejected from something (a job, a team, etc), messing up at work, having your boss yell at you, losing at something, getting laid off, making a bad bet, etc - most of us have many setbacks in our lives. How we deal with those is incredibly important. If we let the setback define us, we might think we aren't talented after all, and lose confidence. If on the other hand, we look at it as something we can learn from, we improve as a person.
I came at the book as it was recommended to me as being good for parents. My daughter is only 1.6 years, but already she is learning fast. The book recommends praising our children's efforts, instead of their results. Telling them they are "amazing", and "smart" is so easy to do, but if you do that their whole lives they won't succeed when they get to the real world. What you want is to encourage a learning attitude. This quote sums it up:
Another interesting bit was how people at the top of their game can get caught up in a fixed mindset. You see this in sports all the team - the champion team from last year thinks they can cruise through this year, doesn't work hard, and suddenly they are losing a lot. It's so hard to maintain the edge. John Wooden puts it best: