Goktug Yilmaz's Reviews > Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked by Nir   Eyal
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- Breaking an old habit and replacing with a new one will take at least the half amount of the time old habit was present.
- Habits are behaviors done with little or no conscious thought. Business using consecutive hook cycles, successful products manage to bring users back repeatedly, without depending on advertising.
- Vitamin VS painkiller. Painkillers solve an obvious need, relieving a specific pain, in contrast to vitamins which do not necessarily solve an obvious pain-point, they instead appeal to users' emotional rather then functional needs. Habit-forming products often start as nice-to-haves ( vitamins) but once the habit is formed, they become must-haves (painkillers).
- The ultimate goal of habit-forming product is to solve the user's pain by creating an association so that the user identifies the company's product as the source of the relief.
- Offer paid version when the habit is developed. Evernote: “1st month, 0.5% of users paid; 33rd month, 11% of users paid. 42nd month, 26% of users paid.”
- If your product is too innovative in a sense that it requires the user to turn his life around to be able to use it, it’s not going to work. “Many innovations fail because consumers irrationally overvalue the old while companies irrationally overvalue the new.”. Don’t expect your users to make a big change or investment just to try your product. Design a product that requires incremental changes.
- Maintain a Sense of Autonomy: "A heath app required him to keep a food diary, which he never did before so after a few days it became a pain and it eventually made him abandon the app entirely. On the other hand, another health app, Fittocracy, worked much better for him, because he instantly got support from the community, which kept him motivated, and there was nothing he had to do."
- Beware of Finite Variability: You have fun first time watching Breaking Bad not the second time. Farmville was success. Cityville and others weren't.
- Asking users to do a bit of work comes after users have received variable rewards, not before

Hook Cycle:
1. Companies that leverage the power of habit forming products have a massive advantage over those who don’t.
2. The hook cycle is built of four major steps:

Step-1 Trigger:
- External Trigger:
- Paid Triggers: Ads etc.
- Earned Triggers: Press, viral videos, App Store rankings etc.
- Relationship Triggers: Facebook share/like, tweet, word of mouth etc.
- Owned Triggers: App icon, push notification, subscription etc.
- Internal Trigger: Wow a great scene I must take a photo of it, I must finish my homework etc.

Step-2 Action
Step-3 Variable Reward
Step-4 Investment

- The variable quality of a reward makes us come back and want more of the thing.
- Investment: Spending a significant amount of time doing something makes a person believe that investment must have been worthwhile, and increases the probability of continuing that behavior.
- The investment implies an action that improves the service for the next go-around.
- Get your user to agree to something that is very easily agreeable before you want them to sign the real deal.
- The Ikea Effect: A cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created.

3. External triggers are needed to form habits, but these become internal in the process and are not needed later.
4. Three things are needed for action
- Trigger: A trigger must be present to activate the behavior
- Motivation: The user must have sufficient motivation.
- The Scarcity Effect: The appearance of scarcity affected their perception of value.
- The Framing Effect: People like the wine better that they thought was more expensive.
- The Anchoring Effect: If you see a product at 50% off, you may buy it even if it’s more expensive than the same product, which is not on sale.
- The Endowed Progress Effect: Just by showing a status bar and informing the user that the end is near, people are a lot more likely to complete actions.
- Ability: The user must have the ability to complete the desired action.

5. The reward must have a variable element to it in order to keep the user coming back for more. Variable rewards types:
- Rewards of the tribe is the search for social rewards fueled by connections with other people. (exp: Twitter, Facebook)
- Reward of the hunt is the search for material resources and information (exp: Pinterest endlesss scroll, e-Commerce discounts)
- Reward of the self is the search for rewards of mastery, competence and completion. (exp: Zynga finishing farmwork, reading all emails, winning a LoL game)

6. The hook cycle is completed, a new habit is formed once the user made a significant investment in the products that will make its use easy to rationalize.
7. While the user always has the power to quit, a significant number of people develop unhealthy addictions to habit forming products.
8. A habit is really adopted when it occurs daily.
9. What we’ve seen is only the beginning. New technologies open up huge space for new habit forming products.

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Reading Progress

July 20, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
July 20, 2015 – Shelved
June 9, 2017 – Shelved as: audio
Started Reading
September 26, 2017 – Finished Reading

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