Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain

Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain

anchor.fm/nirandfar
Nir And Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support


What Killed Turntable.fm? - Nir&Far
Dec 2 • 4 min
Nir’s Note: In this guest post, Ryan Hoover, Director of Product at PlayHaven, utilizes my thinking on the “Habit Zone” to shed light on where Turntable.fm fell short. Ryan blogs at ryanhoover.me and you can follow him on Twitter at rrhoover. As I…
When Designing for Good Is Bad - Nir&Far
Nov 25 • 6 min
We in the design business love when people do what we want. Nothing is more satisfying than when a user intuitively understands what to do with what we’ve built. At the heart of good design, however, is understanding what the user really wants to get…
To Become a Superstar, Improve Your Strengths (Not Your Faults) - Nir&Far
Nov 18 • 6 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Auren Hoffman, the CEO of LiveRamp in San Francisco. This essay is a bit different from the normal subject matter on the blog but I hope it will stir some discussion about which of our personal habits are worth improving.…
This Simple Equation Reveals How Habits Shape Your Health, Happiness, and Wealth - Nir&Far
Nov 11 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by James Clear. James writes at JamesClear.com, where he share ideas for mastering personal habits. Join his free newsletter here. In 1936, a man named Kurt Lewin wrote a simple equation that changed the way we think about…
It’s Not All Fun And Games: The Pros and Cons of Gamification at Work - Nir&Far
Nov 4 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: This post was co-authored with Stuart Luman, a science, technology, and business writer who has worked at Wired Magazine, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and IBM. In the never-ending effort to motivate employees, companies are taking…
Is “Lean Startup” Right for Your Idea?-Nir&Far
Oct 28 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: Lyle McKeany is an entrepreneur writing and working on an early-stage startup. In this essay, he shares his experience using lean startup methodologies with my Hook Model at the Lean Startup Machine conference. This article also appears today…
How To Cope with Your Insane Jealousy Of The WhatsApp Deal-Nir&Far
Oct 21 • 6 min
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 San Francisco to enjoy a…
People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently - Nir&Far
Oct 14 • 7 min
I’ll admit, the bento box is an unlikely place to learn an important business lesson. But consider the California Roll — understanding the impact of this icon of Japanese dining can make all the difference between the success or failure of your product.…
Marketplaces & The Curse of the Network Effect-Nir&Far
Oct 7 • 7 min
Marketplace businesses exist to connect two or more parties, typically the buyers and the sellers. Investors love these marketplace businesses because they tend to grow quickly and spawn winner-take-all companies. A long line of successful Silicon Valley…
The Secrets of Addictive Online Auctions-Nir&Far
Sep 30 • 10 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post was authored by Lisa Kostova Ogata, one of the first product managers at Farmville and a VP of Product at Bright.com (sold to LinkedIn). While at Zynga, Lisa learned how to shape user behavior, but in this essay she describes…
The Power of No-Nir&Far
Sep 23 • 5 min
Nir’s Note: Is “no” the most powerful word in the English language? In this guest post Chikodi Chima explores the power of no and what happens when people say, “No.” Chikodi is a former VentureBeat staff reporter who helps startups with their public…
“Yes, And”: The Two Words that Created a #1 App-Nir&Far
Sep 16 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: In contrast to last week’s post on the power of saying “no,” Eric Clymer shares how a creative attitude helped his team build a #1 ranked app. Eric was the lead developer of the “A Beautiful Mess” app and is a Partner at Rocket Mobile. In…
Variable Rewards: Want To Hook Users? Drive Them Crazy-Nir&Far
Sep 9 • 8 min
In advertising, marketers reinforce a behavior by linking to the promise of reward. “Use our product,” they claim, “and you’ll get laid”; it’s the gist of many product pitches from soap to hamburgers. But online, feedback loops aren’t cutting it. Users…
This Will Be the Last Article You Read-Nir&Far
Sep 2 • 7 min
If the Internet had a voice, I am fairly certain it would sound like the HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. “Hello Nir,” it said to me in its low, monotone voice. “Glad to see you again.” “Internet, I just need a few quick things for an article I’m…
This Simple Equation Reveals How Habits Shape Your Health, Happiness, and Wealth-Nir&Far
Aug 26 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by James Clear. James writes at JamesClear.com, where he share ideas for mastering personal habits. Join his free newsletter here. In 1936, a man named Kurt Lewin wrote a simple equation that changed the way we think about…
The Unbelievable Future of Habit-Forming Technology-Nir&Far
Aug 19 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: Jane McGonigal is a game designer at The Institute for the Future and bestselling author of Reality is Broken and SuperBetter. She’ll be speaking at the upcoming Habit Summit in April. (You can register here!) In this interview with Max Ogles,…
The Secret Marketing Power of Evolutionary Psychology-Nir&Far
Aug 12 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: Gad Saad is a professor of marketing at Concordia University and the author of The Consuming Instinct. He’ll be speaking at the upcoming Habit Summit in April. (You can register here!) In this interview with Max Ogles, Saad discusses the role…
The Real Reason You’re Addicted to Your Phone-Nir&Far
Aug 5 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post by Avi Itzkovitch offers some clues as to why we can’t seem to put our cell phones down. Avi (@xgmedia) is an Independent User Experience Consultant. He is currently working from his Tel-Aviv Studio XG Media. Do you constantly…
The Psychology of Notifications: How to Send Triggers that Work-Nir&Far
Jul 29 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: This post was co-authored with Ximena Vengoechea. Ximena is a design researcher at Twitter and will be speaking at this year’s Habit Summit. In his famed experiments, Ivan Pavlov trained his dogs to associate mealtime with the ring of a bell.…
The Number One Reason Good Habits Don’t Last-Nir&Far
Jul 22 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is written by Max Ogles. Max writes at MaxOgles.com about behavior change, psychology, and technology. Sign up for a free copy of his upcoming e-book, “9 Ways to Motivate Yourself Using Psychology and Technology.” A commonly…
The Next Secrets of the Internet - Nir&Far
Jul 15 • 8 min
Right now, someone is tinkering with a billion dollar secret — they just don’t know it yet. “What people aren’t telling you,” Peter Thiel taught his class at Stanford, “can very often give you great insight as to where you should be directing your…
The Mind-Hack I Used to Help My Father Lose Weight
Jul 8 • 5 min
When my family immigrated to the United States in 1981, my father weighed 185 pounds. He came chasing the American dream but got more than he expected. Along with a new, more prosperous life for his family, he also acquired some bad habits.For one, he…
The Future is Driven by Interface Changes-Nir&Far
Jul 1 • 5 min
Nir’s Note: In this guest post Ryan Hoover takes a look at how interface changes drive innovation. Ryan blogs at ryanhoover.me and you can follow him on Twitter atrrhoover What do motorized vehicles, broadband internet, and smartphones have in common?…
The Billion Dollar Mind Trick: An Intro to Triggers-Nir&Far
Jun 24 • 7 min
Note: I’m proud to have co-authored this post with Jason Hreha, the founder of Dopamine, a user-experience and behavior design firm. He blogs at persuasive.ly Yin asked not to be identified by her real name. A young addict in her mid-twenties, she lives…
The Behavioral Economics Diet: The Science of Killing a Bad Habit-Nir&Far
Jun 17 • 8 min
Diets don’t work. Studies show that temporary fixes to old habits actually make people gain weight. Essentially, the dieter’s brain is trained to gorge when off the diet and inevitably the weight returns. In my previous essay, I shared the story of my…
Temptation-Nir&Far
Jun 10 • 8 min
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…
Strange Sex Habits of Silicon Valley-Nir&Far
Jun 3 • 9 min
My wife put our daughter to bed, brushed her teeth, and freshened up before bed. Slipping under the covers, we exchanged glances and knew it was time to do what comes naturally for a couple on a warm night in Silicon Valley. We began to lovingly…
Stop Building Apps, Start Building User Behaviors-Nir&Far
May 27 • 5 min
Do you get the feeling apps are getting dumber? They are, and that’s a good thing. Behind the surprising simplicity of some of today’s top apps, smart developers are realizing that they’re able to get users to do more by doing less. A new crop of…
Research Reveals How to Take a Better Break-Nir&Far
May 20 • 10 min
Until recently, when I needed a break I’d grab my phone. Whether I was bored, mentally fatigued, or just wanting a pick-me-up, I felt relief checking the news, Facebook, or Instagram. However, new research suggests there are good ways and not-so-good ways…
Psychology of Sports: How Sports Infect Your Brain - Nir&Far
May 13 • 10 min
Note: I co-authored this post with Andrew Martin and David Ngo. It originally appeared in TechCrunch. This week, fans packed stadiums in London wearing their nation’s colors like rebels ready for battle in Mel Gibson’s army. They screamed with excitement…
Personalized eCommerce Is Already Here, You Just Don’t Recognize It - Nir&Far
May 6 • 8 min
NOTE: This post originally appeared in Techcrunch. Reading Leena Rao’s recent article on Techcrunch about the personalization revolution, you get the sense that the tech world is waiting for a bus that isn’t coming. Rao quotes well-known industry experts…
Nostalgia: A Product Designer’s Secret Weapon-Nir&Far
Apr 29 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: In this guest post, Ryan Hoover, contributing writer of my book Hooked, describes how nostalgia is used to drive attention and build an engaging product. Follow @rrhoover or visit his blog to read more about startups and product design.…
It’s How You React to Failure that Matters: Why Ego is the Enemy-Nir&Far
Apr 22 • 11 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is an excerpt from my friend Ryan Holiday’s new book, Ego Is the Enemy. Ryan is the author of three other books and his monthly reading recommendations, which go out to 50,000+ subscribers, can be found here. John DeLorean ran…
How to Design Behavior (The Behavior Change Matrix)-Nir&Far
Apr 15 • 8 min
Everyone suddenly seems interested in messing with your head. Gamification, Quantified Self, Persuasive Technology, Neuromarketing and a host of other techniques offer ways to influence behavior. At the heart of these techniques is a desire to change…
How to Break 5 Soul-Sucking Technology Habits-Nir&Far
Apr 8 • 17 min
Nir’s Note: In this last in a series of guest posts on the topic of technology habits, Jason Shah shares practical tips he used to regain control over his devices and break bad habits. Jason is a Product Manager at Yammer and blogs about user experience…
How to Boost Desire Using the Psychology of Scarcity-Nir&Far
Apr 1 • 10 min
Interested in boosting customer desire? A classic study that demonstrates the psychology of scarcity 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…
How Technology is Like Bug Sex-Nir&Far
Mar 25 • 10 min
This week, thousands of people swarmed the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Looking from above, the scene resembled an insect infestation of scampering masses in a hive of the latest must-haves. When considering our complex relationship with…
How Successful Companies Design for Users’ Multi-Device Lives-Nir&Far
Mar 18 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post comes from Marc Abraham, a London-based product manager at Beamly. In this article, Marc reviews the recently published book “Designing Multi-Device Experiences” by Michal Levin. Follow Marc on Twitter or check out his blog. We…
Hooks: An Intro on How to Manufacture Desire-Nir&Far
Mar 11 • 10 min
Type the name of almost any successful consumer web company into your search bar and add the word “addict” after it. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Try “Facebook addict” or “Twitter addict” or even “Pinterest addict” and you’ll soon get a slew of results from…
Good Products Start With Good Questions-Nir&Far
Mar 4 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: My friend Jake Knapp just published a fantastic book titled, Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. The book details a process he and his colleagues at Google Ventures use to quickly go from idea, to prototype,…
Getting Over Your Fear of Missing Out-Nir&Far
Feb 25 • 8 min
Nir’s Note: This post is co-authored with Stuart Luman, a science, technology, and business writer who has worked at Wired Magazine, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and IBM. “I wish that I could be like the cool kids,” goes the catchy hook for the…
Forming New Habits: Train to be an Amateur, Not an Expert-Nir&Far
Feb 18 • 7 min
Note: I’m proud to have co-authored this post with my good friend Charles Wang. Charles is a co-founder of LUMOback, a former classmate, and an accomplished psychiatrist. He brings a great perspective to the art of Behavior Engineering. Today’s top…
Escape From Message Hell-Nir&Far
Feb 11 • 7 min
We are caught in an endless cycle of messaging hell and the pattern is always the same. First, a new communication system is born — take email or Facebook, for example. Ease-of-use helps the product gain wide adoption and reach a critical mass of users.…
Mind Hacking a Book-Nir&Far
Feb 4 • 7 min
“Hi Nir,” the email began. “I have been reading your work and find it incredibly interesting.” Naturally, this is the kind of message a blogger loves to receive. However, this email was special for another reason. It was from a prominent New York…
How to Start a Career in Behavioral Design-Nir&Far
Jan 28 • 21 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Erik Johnson. Erik applies behavioral design principles on The Behavioral Insights Team at Morningstar. Six years ago, I was in a position that many people early in their careers find themselves in: I had no idea what I…
Hooking Users One Snapchat at a Time-Nir&Far
Jan 21 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Ryan Hoover. Ryan blogs at ryanhoover.me and you can follow him on Twitter at @rrhoover. When Snapchat first launched, critics discounted the photo-messaging app as a fad – a toy for sexting and selfies. Their judgements…
Don’t Ask People What They Want, Watch What They Do-Nir&Far
Jan 14 • 6 min
Nir’s Note: Irene Au is a design partner at Khosla Ventures and former Head of Design at Google, Yahoo, and Udacity. She’ll be speaking at the upcoming Habit Summit in April. (You can register here!) In this interview, she chats with Max Ogles about…
3 Ways to Make Better Decisions Using “The Power of Noticing”-Nir&Far
Jan 7 • 10 min
Nir’s Note: This book review is by Sam McNerney. Sam writes about cognitive psychology, business, and philosophy. In Moneyball, Michael Lewis tells the story of Billy Bean, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics who transformed the A’s using…
Conquer Distractions With This Simple Chart-Nir&Far
Dec 31, 2018 • 10 min
Is 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,…
4 Simple Things I Did to Control My Bad Tech Habits - Nir&Far
Dec 24, 2018 • 12 min
Nir’s Note: In this guest post, Sharbani Roy explores techniques she used to break bad habits related to eating, sleeping and exercising. Sharbani blogs at sharbaniroy.com and you can follow her on twitter @Sharbani. It’s 2 AM and you’re exhausted, but…
From Laid to Paid: How Tinder Set Fire to Online Dating-Nir&Far
Dec 17, 2018 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: In this guest post, Ryan Hoover takes a look at Tinder, a red hot dating app. Ryan dives into what makes the Tinder app so popular and engaging. Ryan blogs at ryanhoover.me and you can follow him on Twitter at rrhoover. The Tinder app has…
Can Online Apps Change Real-Life Behavior?-Nir&Far
Dec 10, 2018 • 11 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is written by Max Ogles. Max is an editor for NirAndFar.com and heads marketing for CoachAlba.com, a mobile health startup. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog at MaxOgles.com. Weight gain happens pound by pound, over many…
Bible App: Getting 100 Million Downloads is More Psychology Than Miracles-Nir&Far
Dec 3, 2018 • 19 min
Nir’s Note: An edited version of this essay appeared in The Atlantic. Below is my original. It’s not often an app has the power to keep someone out of a strip club. But according to Bobby Gruenewald, CEO of YouVersion, that’s exactly what his Bible app…
3 Ways I Use Technology to Find Happiness-Nir&Far
Nov 26, 2018 • 6 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post comes from Brendan Kane who has built technology for MTV, Paramount, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and the NHL. In this article, Brendan describes how he reprogramed the way he views the world using little more than his iPhone and…
Go Ask Grandma: How To Design For “Normals”-Nir&Far
Nov 19, 2018 • 7 min
Note: This post originally appeared in Techcrunch. I’m proud to have co-authored this post with Katy Fike, PhD. Dr. Fike is a gerontologist, systems engineer and Partner at Innovate50, a consulting firm helping companies create products and services for…
Mass Persuasion, One User At A Time-Nir&Far
Nov 12, 2018 • 10 min
“Successful entrepreneurs recommend reading this article about the persuasion techniques companies use to drive engagement.” Scratch that, how’s this? “Tons of people are tweeting this article. Find out why.” You can read the Nir and Far blog post on:…
Time for Digital Hat Racks-Nir&Far
Nov 5, 2018 • 11 min
The first thing Don Draper does when he gets to his office is give his busty secretary a suggestive wink. The second thing he does is take off his fedora. Finally, depending on the severity of the previous night, he completes his morning routine with a…
Today’s Behaviors, Tomorrow’s Startups-Nir&Far-
Oct 29, 2018 • 5 min
Nir’s Note: In this guest post, Ryan Hoover takes a look at how new behaviors are shaping tech opportunities. Ryan blogs at ryanhoover.me and you can follow him on Twitter at rrhoover. Startups that build a product attached to nascent behaviors have an…
User Growth & Engagement: A Hacker Metric-Nir&Far
Oct 22, 2018 • 14 min
If you’re like me, you’ve had enough of the Facebook IPO story. For tech entrepreneurs struggling to build stuff, the cacophony of recent press is just more noise. That’s why when my friend Andrew Chen posted an insightful analysis of Facebook user data,…
Why Startups Must Be Behavior Experts-Nir&Far
Oct 15, 2018 • 6 min
Face it; you’re hooked. It’s your uncontrollable urge to check for email notifications on your phone. It’s your compulsion to visit Facebook or Twitter for just a few minutes, but somehow find yourself still scrolling after an hour. It’s the fact that if…
Make Your Users Do the Work-Nir&Far
Oct 8, 2018 • 10 min
The belief that products should always be as easy to use as possible is a sacred cow of the tech world. The rise of design thinking, coinciding with beautiful new products like the iPhone, has led some to conclude that creating slick interfaces is a…
Who’se Really Addicting You to Technology?-Nir&Far
Oct 1, 2018 • 11 min
“Nearly everyone I know is addicted in some measure to the Internet,” wrote Tony Schwartz in a recent essay in The New York Times. It’s a common complaint these days. A steady stream of similar headlines accuse the Net and its offspring apps, social media…
What Is, and Is Not, Your Product’s Job-Nir&Far
Sep 24, 2018 • 5 min
The first step in the art of building a company is understanding customer motivation. Unless you deeply understand the job your customer is hiring your product to do, you may be surprised to learn what is, and is snot, the reason to buy your products. You…
The Best Word of Mouth Marketing-Nir&Far
Sep 17, 2018 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School and author of the New York Times bestseller Contagious: Why Things Catch On. Contagious explains the science behind word of mouth, how six key factors drive products and ideas to…
‘Assistant-As-App’: Next Big Tech Trend-Nir&Far
Sep 10, 2018 • 10 min
App makers are returning to the roots of what our phones are for. They are after all communications devices. So called “invisible apps” engaging in “conversational commerce” are popping-up in all sorts of unrelated industries. Over the next few years,…
Why People Check Their Tech-NirandFar
Sep 3, 2018 • 9 min
Chances are you’ve experienced the following: You’re with a small group of friends at a nice restaurant. Everyone is enjoying the food and conversation when someone decides to take out his phone — not for an urgent call, but to check email, Instagram, and…
Want To Hook Users? Drive Them Crazy-Nir&Far
Aug 27, 2018 • 8 min
The Hook Model goes beyond reinforcing behavior; it creates habits, spurring users to act on their own, without the need for expensive external stimuli like advertising. The Hook Model is at the heart of many of today’s most habit-forming technologies.…
What A-Players Do That You Don’t-Nir&Far
Aug 22, 2018 • 6 min
There is a reason why jocks become Fortune 500 CEOs. But you don’t need a varsity jacket to apply these lessons to your own life. In fact, I’m a born nerd who until recently hated athleticism. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: What A-Players Do…
Good Products Start With Good Questions-Nir&Far
Aug 13, 2018 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: My friend Jake Knapp just published a fantastic book titled, Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. The book details a process he and his colleagues at Google Ventures use to quickly go from idea, to prototype,…
Designing to Reward Our Tribal Sides-Nir&Far
Aug 6, 2018 • 9 min
We are a species that depend on one another. Scientists theorize humans have specially adapted neurons that help us feel what others feel, providing evidence that we survive through our empathy for others. We’re meant to be part of a tribe and our brains…
What You Don’t Know About Human Intuition-Nir&Far
Jul 30, 2018 • 5 min
A few years ago, Joe Marks, then Disney’s vice president of research, visited Tokyo Disneyland and was puzzled by a particular behavior he observed there. Park visitors were standing in line, often for many hours at a time, outside a shop in the park’s…
Where is the Web Going?-Nir&Far
Jul 23, 2018 • 6 min
Here’s the gist: * Disruptive web innovation comes from changes in interface. * Interfaces, which make information easier to understand by mainstream users, create world-changing companies. * The next stage of the web is the Curated Web, which like the…
Why Your Goals Will Fail-Nir&Far
Jul 16, 2018 • 9 min
If you’re like most people, you have a New Year’s resolution in place and you may have even stuck to it so far this year. Good for you! Realistically though, you’re going to fail. How long have you said you really should get in shape, or lamented the need…
Would You Take a Bet - Nir&Far
Jul 9, 2018 • 6 min
Changing habits is hard. But what if there was a way to dramatically improve your odds of quitting even your worst habits? What if this method was shown to be over 8 times more effective than traditional methods at helping people quit a stubborn addiction…
The Two Words that Created a #1 App-Nir&Far
Jul 2, 2018 • 7 min
Nir’s Note: In contrast to last week’s post on the power of saying “no,” Eric Clymer shares how a creative attitude helped his team build a #1 ranked app. Eric was the lead developer of the “A Beautiful Mess” app and is a Partner at Rocket Mobile. In…
Designing to Reward our Tribal Sides-Nir&Far
Jun 25, 2018 • 9 min
We are a species that depend on one another. Scientists theorize humans have specially adapted neurons that help us feel what others feel, providing evidence that we survive through our empathy for others. We’re meant to be part of a tribe and our brains…
Are Companies Too Obsessed With Growth-Nir&Far
Jun 18, 2018 • 8 min
Nir’s Note: In this guest post, Abhay Vardhan, discusses how to measure the strength of user habits with cohort analysis and retention rate. Abhay is a founder of Blippy.com and blogs at abhayv.com. Follow Abhay on Twitter @abhayvardhan. A common mistake…
Getting Over Your Fear of Missing Out-Nir&Far
Jun 11, 2018 • 8 min
Nir’s Note: This post is co-authored with Stuart Luman, a science, technology, and business writer who has worked at Wired Magazine, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and IBM. In 2013, the word “FoMO” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. The…
Forming New Habits - Nir&Far
Jun 4, 2018 • 7 min
Note: I’m proud to have co-authored this post with my good friend Charles Wang. Charles is a co-founder of LUMOback, a former classmate, and an accomplished psychiatrist. He brings a great perspective to the art of Behavior Engineering. You can read the…
Conquer Distractions With This Simple Chart-Nir&Far
May 28, 2018 • 10 min
Is 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,…
3 Ways to Make Better Decisions-Nir&Far
May 21, 2018 • 10 min
Nir’s Note: This book review is by Sam McNerney. Sam writes about cognitive psychology, business, and philosophy. In Moneyball, Michael Lewis tells the story of Billy Bean, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics who transformed the A’s using…
You’d Be Surprised By What Really Motivates Users-Nir&Far
May 7, 2018 • 10 min
Nir’s Note: This article is adapted from Hooked: A Guide to Building Habit-Forming Products, a book I wrote with Ryan Hoover and originally appeared on TechCrunch. Earlier this month, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone unveiled his mysterious startup Jelly. The…
Why do Fads Fade? The Inevitable Death of Flappy Bird-Nir&Far
Apr 30, 2018 • 11 min
On February 8, 2014, an app called Flappy Bird held the coveted No. 1 spot in the Apple App Store. The app’s 29-year-old creator, Dong Nguyen, reported earning $50,000 a day from the game. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Why do Fads Fade? The…
When Distraction is a Good Thing-Nir&Far
Apr 23, 2018 • 11 min
Is distraction a curse or a blessing? Not giving full attention to what we should be doing makes us miss deadlines, fail classes, and crash into other drivers. Distraction certainly has a price. Nonetheless, we love our distractions! Social media,…
Why Behavior Change Apps Fail to Change Behavior-Nir&Far
Apr 16, 2018 • 12 min
Imagine walking into a busy mall when someone approaches you with an open hand. “Would you have some coins to take the bus, please?” he asks. But in this case, the person is not a panhandler. The beggar is a PhD. As part of a French study, researchers…
The Sweet Spot: Where Technology Meets the Motivational Brain-Nir&Far
Apr 9, 2018 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Dr. Marc Lewis, who studies the psychology and neuroscience of addiction. After years of active research, Marc now talks, writes, and blogs about the science and experience of addiction and how people outgrow it. Visit…
The Strange Way Being “Good” Hurts Your Willpower-Nir&Far
Apr 2, 2018 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Paulette Perhach. Paulette writes about finances, psychology, technology, travel, and better living for the likes of The New York Times, Elle, and Slate. I learned how to respect authority from my father. At the top of a…
The Real Reason “Stupid” Startups Raise So Much Money-Nir&Far
Mar 26, 2018 • 5 min
Have you noticed all the startups raising massive sums of money recently? Perhaps you’ve scratched your head wondering how a company like Buzzfeed, known for its website full of animated gifs, listicles and quizzes, just raised $50 million dollars,…
How to Use Psychology to Make Persuasive Video-Nir&Far
Mar 19, 2018 • 13 min
Compared to other media types on the web, video is unique in the immediacy with which it can convey a vast amount of emotional and informational content to its viewers. By virtue of the fact that video is an instantaneous form of communication, it has the…
How to Build Habits In A Multi-Device World-Nir&Far
Mar 12, 2018 • 11 min
Allow me to take liberties with a philosophical question reworked for our digital age. If an app fails in the App Store and no one is around to use it, does it make a difference? Unlike the age-old thought experiment involving trees in forests, the answer…
Framing Reward is as Important as Reward Itself-Nir&Far
Mar 5, 2018 • 6 min
You can read the Nir&Far blog post on: Framing Reward is as Important as Reward Itself https://www.nirandfar.com/2014/11/framing.html Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on…
Stop Building Apps, Start Building User Behaviors-Nir&Far
Feb 26, 2018 • 5 min
You can read the Nir and Far blog post on Stop Building Apps, Start Building User Behaviors https://www.nirandfar.com/2012/07/stop-building-apps-and-start-building-behaviors.html Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If…
Psychology of Sports: How Sports Infect Your Brain-Nir&Far
Feb 19, 2018 • 10 min
Note: I co-authored this post with Andrew Martin and David Ngo. It originally appeared in TechCrunch. This week, fans packed stadiums in London wearing their nation’s colors like rebels ready for battle in Mel Gibson’s army. They screamed with excitement…
Infinite Scroll: The Web’s Slot Machine-Nir&Far
Feb 12, 2018 • 6 min
A few years ago, everyone was clicking. Today, we’re all scrolling. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Medium – it seems everyone is getting on the infinite scroll bus. What is it about this magical design pattern that has so many consumer web…
Hooks: An Intro on How to Manufacture Desire-Nir&Far
Feb 5, 2018 • 10 min
Type the name of almost any successful consumer web company into your search bar and add the word “addict” after it. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Try “Facebook addict” or “Twitter addict” or even “Pinterest addict” and you’ll soon get a slew of results from…
Hooking Users In 3 Steps: An Intro to Habit Testing-Nir&Far
Jan 29, 2018 • 8 min
The truly great consumer technology companies of the past 25 years have all had one thing in common: they created habits. This is what separates world-changing businesses from the rest. Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter are used…
Getting Your Product Into the Habit Zone - Nir&Far
Jan 22, 2018 • 7 min
As the web becomes an increasingly crowded place, users are desperate for solutions to sort through the online clutter. The Internet has become a giant hairball of choice-inhibiting noise and the need to make sense of it all has never been more acute.…
The Psychology of a Billion-Dollar Enterprise App: Why is Slack so Habit-Forming?-Nir&Far
Jan 15, 2018 • 7 min
Slack isn’t just another office collaboration app. The company has been called, “the fastest-growing workplace software ever.” Recent press reports claim that “users send more than 25 million messages each week,” and that the company is, “adding $1…
How to Clear Your Computer of Focus-Draining Distraction - Nir&Far
Jan 8, 2018 • 8 min
By the looks of his laptop, Robbert Van Els could be mistaken for a secret agent. His screen is an explosion of urgent files — a master control center for managing clandestine operatives. The man of mystery persona is typified by a side-sliding sports car…
This Weird Research-Backed Goal Setting Hack Actually Works - Nir&Far
Dec 26, 2017 • 9 min
Nir’s Note: This article on goal setting was originally published in early 2016 but got such a great reader response that I decided to expand and update it along with adding the video below. Let me know what you think in the comments. Over the past four…
Three Steps to Get Up To Speed On Any Subject Quickly - Nir&Far
Dec 18, 2017 • 10 min
“Don’t boil the ocean,” Terry said as he slapped a tall stack of papers on my desk. “Just tell us what we need to know.” I was staring at a serious problem. To help our firm win a multimillion-dollar consulting contract, I had five days to tell my new…
Happiness Hack: This One Ritual Made Me Much Happier - Nir&Far
Dec 11, 2017 • 9 min
When my wife and I moved to New York City in 2001, recently graduated from college and newly wed, we were eager to find friends. We knew nearly no one but were sure we’d soon find a fun-loving group like the 20- and 30-something New Yorkers who…
Think Different is Bad Advice - Nir&Far
Dec 4, 2017 • 10 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is an excerpt from the new book Invisible Influence: The Hidden Factors that Shape Behavior, written by my friend and Wharton School professor, Jonah Berger. Being different, the notion goes, is the route to success. Think…
Die Dashboards, Die - Nir&Far
Nov 27, 2017 • 8 min
In years to come, conversations will breathe new life into software—particularly the boring enterprise tools millions of knowledge workers begrudgingly use every day. Conversational user interfaces (CUIs) work because of our familiarity with messaging.…
How to Stay Informed Without Losing Your Mind - Nir&Far
Nov 20, 2017 • 6 min
Around 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…
Hyperbolic Discounting: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices - Nir&Far
Nov 13, 2017 • 6 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is written and illustrated by Lakshmi Mani, a product designer working in San Francisco. Have you ever had a mounting pile of work you know you need to do but for some reason didn’t? There’s an important deadline looming, your…
How to Get People to Help Each Other - Nir&Far
Nov 6, 2017 • 8 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Max Ogles, who writes at MaxOgles.com. On March 27, 1964, Kitty Genovese was brutally attacked and killed in the open streets of New York City. What makes Genovese’s story so tragic is that police later discovered…
Human + A.I. = Your Digital Future - Nir&Far
Oct 30, 2017 • 12 min
In the new film Ex Machina, a reclusive billionaire invents a robotic artificial intelligence. To test whether his invention is indistinguishable from a human being, he helicopters-in a young engineer to see if he falls in love with the robot. Today,…
Confirmation Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices-Nir&Far
Oct 23, 2017 • 8 min
You walk into your first yoga class. You’re a little insecure about your weight and how your yoga clothes cling to your body revealing every flaw. You’re nervous about making a fool of yourself. Your eyes instantly zoom onto the fit model-esque people…
Nir Eyal Interview with Adam Alter Author of Irresistible-Nir&Far
Aug 21, 2017 • 29 min
Nir Eyal interviews author of Irresistible. Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show.…
Tech Companies Are Addicting People But Should They Stop-Nir&Far
Aug 15, 2017 • 15 min
To understand technology addiction (or any addiction for that matter) you need to understand the Q-tip. Perhaps you’ve never noticed there’s a scary warning on every box of cotton swabs that reads, “CAUTION: Do not enter ear canal…Entering the ear canal…
Darren Austin Interview - Nir & Far
Aug 7, 2017 • 11 min
You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Here’s How Alexa Hooks You https://www.nirandfar.com/2017/06/how-amazons-alexa-hooks-you.html Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe…
Your Ability to Focus Has Probably Peaked - Nir & Far
Jul 31, 2017 • 10 min
Having a hard time focusing lately? You’re not alone. Research shows interruptions occur about every twelve minutes in the workplace, and every three minutes in university settings. In an age of constant digital interruptions, it is no wonder you’re…
How to Use Personality Science to Drive Online Conversions - Nir & Far
Jul 24, 2017 • 12 min
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Vanessa Van Edwards, lead investigator at the Science of People — a human behavior research lab. This exclusive book excerpt is from Vanessa’s new book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, which was recently…
Alexandra Watkins Interview - Nir & Far
Jul 17, 2017 • 13 min
Nir Eyal chats with author, Alexandra Watkins about her book, Hello, My Name is Awesome. Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will…
Dan Olsen Interview - Nir & Far
Jul 10, 2017 • 17 min
Nir Eyal talks with Dan Olsen, author of The Lean Product Playbook. Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new…
Why Cultivating Compassion is Crucial for Success in Business with Dr. Monica Worline - Nir & Far
Jul 3, 2017 • 15 min
Monica is a Research Scientist at the Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism and a Faculty Affiliate at the University of Michigan’s Center for Positive Organizations. Their discussion touches on why empathetic teams make better business…
The Way You Think About Willpower Is Hurting You - Nir & Far
Jun 26, 2017 • 12 min
Not so long ago, my after work routine looked like this: After a particularly grueling day, I’d sit on the couch and veg for hours, doing my solo version of “Netflix and chill,” which meant keeping company with a cold pint of ice cream. I knew the ice…
How to Build Tech that Feels like a Friend - Nir & Far
Jun 19, 2017 • 12 min
Recently, 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…
Your World is Full of Placebo Buttons (and That’s a Good Thing)- Nir & Far
Jun 12, 2017 • 7 min
All products and services, everything we buy and use, have but one job—to modulate our mood. The fundamental reason we use technology of all sorts, from stone tools to the latest iPhone, is to make us feel better. To prove the point, consider how…
Alison Levine Interview - Nir & Far
Jun 5, 2017 • 20 min
Alison Levine, author of “On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and Other Extreme Environments” talks with Nir Eyal Get Alison’s book here: http://amzn.to/2hHe6o6 Subscribe to Nir’s blog and receive a free workbook:…
How to Stay Informed Without Losing Your Mind - Nir & Far
May 29, 2017 • 7 min
Around 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…
How to Achieve Your Goals By Creating an Enemy - Nir&Far
May 22, 2017 • 14 min
DJ Khaled, the one-man internet meme, is known for warning his tens of millions of social media followers about a group of villains he calls “they.” “They don’t want you motivated. They don’t want you inspired,” he blares on camera. “They don’t want you…
What Do You Do When Someone “Steals” Your Amazing Idea? - Nir & Far
May 15, 2017 • 7 min
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…
3 Pillars of the Most Successful Tech Products - Nir & Far
May 8, 2017 • 10 min
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…
The Strange But Effective Way You Can Stick to Hard Goals - Nir & Far
Apr 25, 2017 • 7 min
There’s a saying that you should never trust a skinny chef. By that logic, you should never trust an out of shape behavioral designer. Over the past four years, I’ve discovered many incredible ways to hack my habits and improve my life. I have taught…
How Two Companies Hooked Customers On Products They Rarely Use - Nir & Far
Apr 17, 2017 • 12 min
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…
How Technology Tricks You Into Tipping More - Nir & Far
Apr 11, 2017 • 8 min
My taxi pulled up to the hotel. I got out my credit card and prepared to pay for the ride. The journey was pleasant enough but little did I know I was about to encounter a bit of psychological trickery designed to get me to pay more for the lift. Chances…
The Limits of Loyalty: When Habits Change, You’re Toast - Nir & Far
Apr 3, 2017 • 10 min
“I’m endlessly loyal,” my wife said, staring straight into my eyes. But she wasn’t talking about our marriage — she was pledging her allegiance to a piece of software. “I’ll never quit Microsoft Office,” she told me. “It does too much for me to leave it.”…
Your Fitness App is Making You Fat, Here’s Why - Nir & Far
Mar 27, 2017 • 11 min
Fitness apps are all the rage. An explosion of new companies and products want to track your steps and count your calories with the aim of melting that excess blubber. There’s just one problem — most of these apps don’t work. In fact, there is good reason…
Email Habits: How to Use Psychology to Regain Control - Nir & Far
Mar 20, 2017 • 10 min
I don’t usually write about personal and revealing matters, but recently I’ve noticed something I don’t like about myself–I check email too often. This confession doesn’t come easily, because, ironically, I am the author of a book titled Hooked: How to…
Latest Tech Trends: Products to Eliminate Distractions and Increase Willpower - Nir & Far
Mar 13, 2017 • 9 min
Four minutes into pitching the wonders of his invention to an influential reporter, Patrick Paul gets hit with the kind of snarky comment startup entrepreneurs dread. Paul is the founder of Hemingwrite, a “distraction free writing tool with modern…
Can’t Kick a Bad Habit? You’re Probably Doing It Wrong - Nir and Far
Mar 7, 2017 • 11 min
I had just finished giving a speech on building habits when a woman in the audience exclaimed, “You teach how to create habits, but that’s not my problem. I’m fat!” The frustration in her voice echoed throughout the room. “My problem is stopping bad…
Here’s Why You’ll Hate the Apple Watch (and the Important Business Lesson You Need to Know) - Nir and Far
Mar 7, 2017 • 10 min
If you are among the 19 million people Apple predicts will buy an Apple Watch, I have some bad news for you — I’m betting there is an important feature missing from the watch that’s going to drive you nuts. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy one. In…
4 Ways to Use Psychology to Win Your Competition’s Customers - Nir and Far
Mar 7, 2017 • 6 min
Let’s say you’ve built the next big thing. You’re ready to take on the world and make billions. Your product is amazing and you’re convinced you’ve bested the competition. As a point of fact, you know you offer the very best solution in your market. But…
Nir And Far: Business, Behavior, and the Brain (Preview)
Feb 28, 2017 • 1 min
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