It seems like the term “addiction” gets thrown around quite often when we discuss technology: we’re “addicted” to screens, to Facebook, to likes, etcetera. But one of my first-ever guests on the show, Nir Eyal, is back to talk about why blaming technology for our behavior is misguided and counterproductive. He also reveals how upcoming shifts in technology and interfaces relate to the conclusions in his book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.
Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches at the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. In addition to blogging at NirAndFar.com, Nir’s writing has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today.
For the last two years, Nir was also part of my SXSW panels focused on persuasive products and websites.
We kick things off by discussing the difference between habits and addiction and why Nir refuses to work with companies that aim to capitalize on the latter. Nir shares why it’s unhelpful to criticize companies for making “addictive” products when the interaction of person and product is really where the problem lies. We also talk about how new frontiers in the tech world relate to what Nir taught us in his book Hooked, and what the future of voice interfaces might be like.
Nir’s work will change how you think about habit-forming technology and show you its potential for good. Tune in for Nir’s excellent advice and fascinating perspective on how wearable tech and conversational interfaces will soon change.
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On Today’s Episode We’ll Learn:
- Why Nir very intentionally associated his work with habits and not addictions, and the crucial difference between the two.
- Why people’s incorrect use of Q-Tips is a great metaphor for the tension between product designers and technology addicts.
- Nir’s proposal for helping technology addicts and the level of responsibility companies should bear for assisting them.
- How we can use Nir’s four steps for “hooking” customers – but in reverse – to break our undesirable tech habits.
- The concepts Nir would include in Hooked if he were writing it now, including why it can be good to increase or decrease a product’s uncertainty depending on the context.
Key Resources for Nir Eyal and Habit-Building Products:
- Connect with Nir: Website | Twitter | Podcast
- Amazon: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
- Kindle: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
- Audible: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
- “Hooked on Q-Tips” by Nir Eyal for The Atlantic
- Self Control
- Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini
- Pana: Virtual Travel Agent
- Amazon Echo
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis
- Habit Summit in San Franciso, CA: April 4-5, 2017
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Full Episode Transcript: