Un-Hooked: Increasing Focus in the Age of Distraction

Are you too distracted by technology? Learn how to manage those distractions.

By Michelle Valigursky

At home or at work, while shopping or relaxing, seemingly everywhere we look digital distractions beg for our attention. Nir Eyal 01C has made it his business to find out what technology consumers want, evaluate how they use it, and share practical advice for entrepreneurs looking to engage customers and create habit-forming products.  

As he writes on his website, “For most of my career I’ve worked in the video gaming and advertising industries where I learned, applied, and at times rejected, the techniques used to motivate and manipulate users. I write to help companies create behaviors that benefit their users, while educating people on how to build healthful habits in their own lives.”

Eyal has sold two technology companies since 2003 and is now an angel investor. His blog NirandFar sheds light on the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. “I call it ‘behavioral design,’” he writes. “The topic encompasses user experience, behavioral economics, and a dash of neuroscience."


Are you Hooked?

It’s safe to say that we can't live without meaningful "distractions" like GPS, and at an even more fundamental level, the internet. But what about other latest-and-greatest technologies?

In Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, Eyal examines why some products capture widespread attention while others flop. What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?

The book reviews are definitive. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, advises “Hooked gives you the blueprint for the next generation of products. Read Hooked or the company that replaces you will.” Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, founder of The Next Web, called Hooked “The book everyone in Silicon Valley is talking about.”

Eyal is happy to share what he’s learned with other entrepreneurs. “I wrote the book I wished had been available to me as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products.”

Survival = Success

“The recipe for success is survival as an entrepreneur,” Eyal says. Learn more about Eyal’s journey in this video.

Editor's Note: Learn more about Hooked here.

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Michelle Valigursky