Hooked by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover
I’ve seen this book about and I’ve heard all the rave reviews but previously avoided it due to it not suiting my needs at that time.
However, I’m currently in the middle of building an application for another business of mine so I’ve been doing some extra reading and research.
Hooked teaches you how to create ‘habit-forming products’ and it was quickly added to my reading list.
Now, before I get into the review, let’s first discuss exactly what a habit-forming product is.
In nutshell, a habit-forming product is something that customers will use and engage with of their own accord. People go back to that product without any prompting. You don’t need to send them an email or re-target them with an advertisement.
Some good examples are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Once you begin using these applications, you find yourself checking these sites multiple times a day. For some people, it’s the first thing that they do when they open their eyes in the morning.
Why is that?
Why do people become hooked?
It’s an interesting question and one that is answered in-depth within this book.
I noted down a quote by Warren Buffet that I think helps explain why this topic is important. When Buffet was asked, “What is the ideal business?” His answer was; “The ideal business costs a penny, sells for a dollar, and is habit-forming.”
…And that’s the code that we need to crack when creating products.
The Hook Method
This book contains what the authors refer to as “The Hook Method.”
So, the Hook Method is basically what you need to put into your application for it to be habit-forming.
At this point, it’s important to mention that most of what’s discussed in this book relates to applications and is aimed at technology, rather than bricks and mortar businesses.
The elements of the Hook Method are:
- Variable reward
The authors cover each section detail and clearly explain how you can implement them into your own application, increasing the chances of your users becoming ‘hooked.’
A disappointing start, but…
I must say that I personally found most of what’s contained in the book’s first two sections (Trigger and Action) very much common sense. Now, that could be because most of my job revolves around digital marketing, so when it comes to encouraging a user to click a button or complete an action, I’m very up-to-date with the methods used.
However, when I got to the part of the book about Variable Reward and thereafter, I found it absolutely amazing! There’s so much information in those chapters that I was not aware of, that I found it extremely valuable. The authors divulged a lot of behavioral and human psychology as to what keeps somebody returning to a particular app time and time again.
I love the way that the book is written, structured, and put together. The Hook Method is explained very clearly and is easy to understand.
The book is also very actionable, which I again, I love! At the end of every chapter, there’s a recap and a “remember and share” section.
There’s also a section called “Do It Now,” so if you are in the middle of designing a product and you want to know how to put some habit-forming elements into it, these sections will help you to do just that.
What did I think of the book?
Overall, I think this is a great book with lots of valuable and actionable content.
It’s a simple method that, with a bit of thought, can be easily implemented to create big results.
A book that all technology creators, designers, and entrepreneurs need to read.
What did you think?
This review is my personal opinion of “Hooked.”
If you’ve read this book, please give the book your score by using the Reader Rating bar above, and let me know what you thought of the book in the comments box below.