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Start at the End: How to Build Products That Create Change

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  293 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Nudge meets Hooked in a practical approach to designing products and services that change behavior, from what we buy to how we work.

Deciding what to create at modern companies often looks like an episode of Mad Men: people throw ideas around until one sounds sexy enough to execute and then they scale it to everyone. The result? Companies overspend on marketing to drive eng
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Portfolio
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The premise here is to think about the product with the end in mind: that end being consumer behavior. What behavior do you wish to alter with the introduction of this product or feature? And Why?

The core to this approach is the Intervention Design Process (IDP) "interventions being the things we build to change the pressures and thus the resultant behaviors."

The concepts are back by solid behavioral research, and the discussions are worth considering, including the ethical implications of alter
Charna Parkey
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Such an easy to read approachable framework that I bought more than 30 copies to share with folks from Marketing, Engineering and more across my company.

I ended up getting an audio copy for listening and then used the paper copy to highlight and make notes in, then ended up in my favorite mind map app to connect this behavior change methodology to the way I work.
Rurie Yi
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic-read
(4.0/5.0) Read this for a book club I’m a part of and learned a lot! Definitely one of those books that you’ll probably want to revisit multiple times, especially if you’re working on/pursuing an entrepreneurial venture of your own. I really appreciated Wallaert’s casual and snarky tone, which makes it quite readable.
Samuel Salzer
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Strongly recommend this book! Perfect for anyone who wants to learn a concrete process for creating behavior change inside and outside of your organization.
Pradyuman Singh Rajput
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't started the game, Be the ENDGAME ...more
Amanda Jones
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a landscape designer, I was unaware of how behavioral statements could impact my career. However, the more I dove into this book and digested it piece by piece, I found myself applying it to not only my career but to every aspect of my life. Upon completion of this book, I can confidently say I am only a “stable liker” of one topic which has taught my mind to be thinking in a more challenging yet open way.
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Excellent, but too short book on how to design products and experiences so that more people can and will enjoy them. Would’ve been better if done a little more seriously and thoroughly.
Feb 04, 2022 rated it it was ok
Not crazy about the format or the casual chatty prose for a book that’s pretty formulaic. It seemed more like a rambly blog post that could have been a little more streamlined. Sorry.
Sergio Sanchez
Jul 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Read this if:
+++ You are in a position, where you can implement projects in an organization, and you absolutely want to change some things, but until now had no idea, how to approach systematic changes in a way that leads to results. Then is the book for you. Just buy it ;)
+++ You are an UX/UI designer, product designer, product manager or conversion rate optimizer then this book is going to provide clear value. Even if you don't agree about his views on "communication" and "hype".
+++ You are in
Synthia Salomon
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
“The Intervention Design Process is a step-by-step approach to the design of products and services that begins with the behavior you want to promote and then works backward to make that behavior a reality. First, achieve an insight into the gap between the way you want people to behave (your ideal world) and the way they’re actually behaving (the real world). Then write up a behavioral statement formally describing that ideal world. Next, map out the promoting and inhibiting pressures that are p ...more
Aug 17, 2022 rated it liked it

I liked that the author does not take himself too seriously.

He provides really good insights, I particularly enjoyed his anecdotes from working in Microsoft and his work on the less popular search engine, Bing. The author identifies a process in which we start at the end, with the behavior we want (the user) to do. He then works from there, giving advice on how to create interventions, and later behavioral statements that help create impactful products.

I really appreciated that the author t
Paulo Peres
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A book in a sympathetic format and proposes to have a much tastier language than the Behavioral Science or Behavioral Economy literature. However, the author could use more illustrations and a more visual method to explain the process as the author works, as it is not entirely clear how his creative process is. Even so, it brings some interesting insights from professionals who apply it on a daily basis with practical examples and not just scientific experiments.

I believe that in several themes
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book encloses a few, but handy tips in applied behavioral science:
1. a behavioral statement, very useful to clarify what an organization wants to do.
2. A simple framework to apply behavioral science into well-defined problems (pressure mappings)
3. the role of pilots and triangulating among observations, qualitative and quantitative evidence.
4. something usually not addressed: a) the relevance of identity and belonging, b) competing behaviors.

I did not give five stars because of the way it w
Andreas Karampatzakis
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s a very easy to read book that I highly recommend to all startup founders and product managers.

I love the idea that “people will do the right thing If you make it easy for them” and the application of psychology principles in product design.

The ideas of promoting / inhibiting factors are well explained with clear examples and a comparison is laid out for what to focus on when building a product.
Felipe CZ
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
An approach to designing producs that make an impact. First, achieve insights into the ideal world and the real world; then, write a behavioral statement of the ideal, then, map out promoting and inhibiting pressures preventing that world from coming into being, then look interventions to modify pressures, after passing an ethical check, you can trial them and then implement.
Courtney Sams
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
An interesting read about the basics of behavioral science and how it applies to our life and work. I am going to re-read portions of this book to understand and apply it fully, but I really enjoyed this. Matt Wallaert visited my Human Resources class, so I had the pleasure of meeting him and hearing his ideas; his voice is very much present throughout the book!
Shokai Sinclair
Apr 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked how this book was written like you were listening to the author chat about a subject he cares about rather than it being a textbook that covers all of the elements of behavior change design. Too often, books about product design can veer too far in either direction. It ended up making for a good combination of being an easy read with some advanced concepts I hadn't heard of before. ...more
A simple book which sets itself a modest goal and accomplishes exactly that. It's short and relevant as a process refresher even for those already familiar and actively practicing the described techniques.

The narrative is engaging enough to keep the interest and focused enough to keep the length easily manageable in a busy schedule.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Design better products by starting with the result you are trying to achieve. Some good examples make this helpful for anyone who desires to change user behavior. Written by a social scientist and fan of flaming hot Cheetos.
Daniel Shaw
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
An extremely actionable primer of behavioural psychology. The writer is quite left of field in his political rants, but it's fresh to see someone present their personality so strongly in an otherwise stern and factual genre. The second half of the book is not for everyone, and he admits that. ...more
Mohammed Nabeel
It's very simple stepwise guide to create a product which would create a behaviour change. It's pretty clear and straightforward, and tries to untangle some of the dilemmas which would arise when following the step. It's a great book for someone looking for start-up idea valuation. ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Freaking brilliant!
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good book for anyone who wants to conscientiously run experiments and make changes to your product through changing consumer behavior.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: econ-science
Excellent book! Reads very easily and does a great job of explaining theory in an approachable way that can then be applied by any of us for a huge variety of tasks.
Jun 02, 2020 rated it liked it
More like a psychology book than a product development book
Alexandre Santos
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Everything we create, we create to change behavior
Mattias Altin
Apr 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Informative and hilarious - a great read!
Jason Wan
Nov 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great book

Mind blowing yet very practical and useful.
Never thought of product design this way, but it defiantly makes sense. Again, great book.
I get that knowing about behavior is important in Product and policy work. But also do we need to use and share every exploit of the human brain ?
Dominic Bouffard
Apr 16, 2022 rated it really liked it
It's a good book to better understand behavioral science and introduce that concept to Product Management. ...more
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24 likes · 5 comments
“That’s because, in general, better intervention design happens when you have as many potential insights as possible at the beginning of the process—a big, wide funnel of opportunities for behavior change that slowly gets narrower as we hone in on pressures we’re able to successfully design interventions around. The more insights we have to start with and the faster and more thoroughly we can validate them, the more interventions we can design. Designing more interventions means running more pilots, and when we thoroughly and swiftly validate those, we get more Cheeto flavors that keep bringing us closer to the Utopian Universe, one snack at a time.” 0 likes
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