by Nir Eyal, December 16, 2016 | Comments
Here's why I’ve decided to give up consuming online news and why I think you should consider doing tAround the election, in a desperate search for answers about our nation’s future, I found myself scrolling, reading, and watching everything I could. I was trapped in an endless pull-to-refresh cycle of consuming more news, tweets, posts, and videos than was good for me. I told myself that I was staying informed, that this was part of my civic duty—and ...
by Nir Eyal, December 13, 2016 | Comments
|If you’ve started a tech company to make a lot of money, chances are you’re bad at math—or simply delusional. Statistically speaking, your odds of a big-time payday are somewhere between zero and almost zero. Ninety-two percent of startups fail within three years. Only one percent of apps in the Apple App Store are financially successful. And even for the fortunate few ...|
by Nir Eyal, December 8, 2016 | Comments
|Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google), has a quirky way of deciding which companies he likes. It’s called “The Toothbrush Test.” According to the New York Times, when Page looks at a potential company to acquire, he wants to know if the product is, like a toothbrush, “something you will use once or twice a day.” ...|
by Nir Eyal, December 5, 2016 | Comments
|The subject line read: “did you see this?” The message was from my editor Jen. “Nir, I saw the headline on this story and thought it might be written by you—but no!” she wrote. “Very weird.” I instantly clicked on the link she’d sent. It was uncanny! An article written by Christopher Mele at the New York Times, freakishly similar to ...|
by Nir Eyal, December 5, 2016 | Comments
Amy works just like a human assistant, except she’s not human. It’s an AI bot made by X.ai, a companRecently, I needed to book a lunch meeting. To help coordinate, I asked Amy to assist and cc’d her on the email. “Amy,” I wrote, “please help us find a time to meet. Let’s plan for sushi at Tokyo Express on Spear Street.” Amy looked at my calendar, found an open time suitable for everyone invited, and booked the meeting. ...
by Nir Eyal, December 1, 2016 | Comments
|All products and services, everything we buy and use, have but one job—to modulate our mood. The fundamental reason we use technology of relief is tantamount to actual relief. Consider the so-called placebo button.perception of all sorts, from stone tools to the latest iPhone, is to make us feel better. To prove the point, consider how Take, for example, the ...|
by Nir Eyal, November 22, 2016 | Comments
New studies suggest that we’ve been thinking about willpower all wrong. Even worse, holding on to ouNot so long ago, my post-work routine looked like this: After a particularly grueling day, I’d sit on the couch and veg for hours, doing my version of “Netflix and chill,” which meant keeping company with a cold pint of ice cream. I knew the ice cream, and the sitting, were probably a bad idea, but I told myself this ...
by Nir Eyal, September 12, 2016 | Comments
With our digital devices buzzing, world events demanding our attention, and more things to entertainIs the world more distracting? Sometimes it seems that way. With our digital devices buzzing, world events demanding our attention, and more things to entertain us than ever before, it certainly seems harder to focus on what’s really important. And yet, focus is exactly what it takes to get things done and get ahead. Distraction might appear more available than ...
by Nir Eyal, August 15, 2016 | Comments
|Recently, the Pokemon Go phenomenon has reigniting the question of technology’s role in changing behavior. To put things in perspective, I wanted to share the main points of an article I published on the topic titled, Who’s Really Addicting Us to Technology?, in a slide presentation below. It’ll give you a quick rundown of the “suspects” responsible for our tech addiction. Who's Really Addicting You to ...|
by Nir Eyal, February 23, 2014 | Comments
|Editor’s Note: Nir Eyal is the author of Hooked: A Guide to Building Habit Forming Products and blogs at NirAndFar.com. Wednesday was my birthday. It should have been a great day. My wife and daughter had prepared a delicious breakfast, I had lunch with close friends, and I finished up some writing and client work. At the end of the day I headed to ...|
by Nir Eyal, November 15, 2013 | Comments
|A few minutes before his helicopter touched down in a covert military base just outside of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tommy Thompson reached for his secret weapon. He was about to meet with top Afghan officials and he needed to ensure he hit his mark. But Thompson’s mission to the war-torn region in 2004 did not involve delivering guns and bombs. As ...|
by Nir Eyal, July 31, 2013 | Comments
|Interested in boosting customer desire? A classic study reveals an interesting quirk of human behavior that may hold a clue. In 1975, researchers Worchel, Lee, and Adewole wanted to know how people would value cookies in two identical glass jars. One jar held ten cookies while the other contained just two stragglers. Which cookies would people value more? Though the cookies and ...|
by Nir Eyal, July 29, 2013 | Comments
|(Why buy the cow when you can buy the milk for free?) Ethan Stock lived the Silicon Valley dream. He had recently sold his company to eBay and emanated the tanned skin and relaxed composure you’d expect of someone who just cashed a big corporate check. But as we sat across from one another in a Palo Alto coffee shop, I was ...|
by Nir Eyal, June 18, 2013 | Comments
|A funny thing happens when you lie to people: they tend to believe. Why shouldn’t they? They lie to themselves all the time. Our minds are wired to respond in predictable ways–among them is perceiving the world the way we want to see it, not necessarily the way it is. Perhaps no other phenomenon demonstrates our brain’s ability to make ...|
by Nir Eyal, June 10, 2013 | Comments
|How do products tempt us? What makes them so alluring? It is easy to assume we crave delicious food or impulsively check email because we find pleasure in the activity. But pleasure is just half the story. Temptation is more than just the promise of reward. Recent advances in neuroscience allow us to peer into the brain, providing a greater ...|