How to Build Habit-Forming Products, with Nir Eyal

On this week’s episode of “The Innovation Engine” podcast, we look at how to build habit-forming products. Among the topics we cover are the 4-step process to building products that keep users coming back, the difference between external triggers and internal triggers, how the scarcity heuristic and the endowed progress principle can be used to drive intended behaviors, and how “the 5 whys” method of questioning can be used to truly get into the mind of a product’s intended user.

Nir Eyal, author of the recently released book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, joins us to discuss all this and more. Nir’s “Hook Model” of building products is the basis for Hooked, which debuted on the Wall Street Journal best-seller list. The book also made several 2014 “best of” lists, including being named one of the best business books of the year by Goodreads and the best marketing book of the year by 1800CEORead. Nir posts frequently at, and among the outlets for which he writes frequently are TechCrunch, Forbes, and Psychology Today. Nir has co-founded 2 start-ups, including AdNectar, which was funded by Kleiner Perkins. In addition to his writing, Nir is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and for Fortune 500 companies.

Here are just a few of the highlights from this week’s podcast with Nir Eyal:

  • We kick things off by talking about the difference between a habit and an addiction, a distinction that Nir makes in the book and he thinks is important for people to understand
  • Nir explains the 4 steps of the Hook model, which he believes are present in all products that eventually become an ingrained part of their users’ lives
  • We talk about the stat that in order for a user to switch from one product to its competitor, the competitor has to be perceived to be 9 times better than the original product
  • Nir explains the Fogg behavior model, which has a very prescriptive way of thinking about how to drive behaviors


Interested in hearing more? Tune in to the full episode of “The Innovation Engine” podcast via the Stitcher Radio embed below.

You can also download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on iTunes or tune in via the podcast’s home on Stitcher Radio to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.

Will Sherlin

Will Sherlin

Senior Manager of Digital Marketing

Will Sherlin is the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at 3Pillar Global. He oversees the 3Pillar website and other web properties, hosts 3Pillar’s ‘Innovation Engine’ podcast, and manages 3Pillar’s social media accounts. Prior to its acquisition by 3Pillar, Will was an Account Manager at PointAbout, a DC-based mobile app boutique that specialized in developing iPhone and iPad apps. He holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina.

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