The most successful tech products have one thing in common

How Facebook and Candy Crush Got You Hooked

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. World of Warcraft. Angry Birds. The most successful tech products have one thing in common: They’re addictive. And users don’t get hooked by accident. Just ask Nir Eyal. A Bay Area entrepreneur turned desire guru, Eyal has worked with some of the top tech firms in Silicon Valley, teaching them how to apply the system he developed for engineering habit-forming apps, services, and games. His blog, Nir and Far, has attracted tens of thousands of subscribers hungry for insights, and his writing has appeared in both the mass-market pages of Psychology Today and the insider club of TechCrunch. His inaugural Habit Summit, held last March on the Stanford campus, drew 400 participants. Eyal’s book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, self-published in January 2014, shot immediately to the top of Amazon’s product-design list. Penguin acquired it and released it in November.

At the heart of Eyal’s system is a four-step cycle he calls the Hook. These steps were derived from his observation of online products and services, as well as a wide range of psychological and neurological research, from B. F. Skinner to B. J. Fogg. The Hook, Eyal says, is the magic behind just about every icon of the consumer Internet, from Google to WhatsApp.





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