February 2, 2014

Book Review: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are building any sort of application, this book will provide actionable ways to increase: users, growth, and revenue. While reading Hooked, I kept thinking, this is all so obvious, why didn't I realize it before. But then again, that's how great ideas are. As you read you'll realize that the ideas are easy, but the implementation takes effort. Facebook wasn't the first social network, but it evolved through analysis into a site that even grandparents can use. Mailbox isn't the first mail app to help reduce inbox clutter, but it found a way to get users to inbox zero in a simple way (as a user of Mailbox, getting to inbox zero is something I strive towards every day and will do whatever it takes to remove any stragglers).

At the end of each chapter, Nir provides specific tasks to apply the lessons learned. Working your way through them will help you realize the ways to add more hooks to your programs. This will make your users want to use your app more and provide you with more money. If you're a software manager, architect, or coder, it's worth your time to read this book.

Favorite quotes:

"Building habit-forming products is an iterative process and requires user behavior analysis and continuous experimentation." "All humans are motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain, to seek hope and avoid fear, and finally, to seek social acceptance and avoid rejection." "Variable rewards are one of the most powerful tools companies implement to hook users."

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