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Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain
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Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain

Author: Nir Eyal

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Nir And Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
143 Episodes
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Nir’s Note: This guest post comes from Stephen Wendel, Principal Scientist at HelloWallet and the author of Designing for Behavior Change. Steve's new book is about how to apply behavioral economics to product development. Follow him on twitter @sawendel. It can be extraordinarily difficult to stop habits head-on. Brain damage, surgery, even Alzheimer’s disease and dementia sometimes fail to stop them.1But why are they so difficult to change? You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: How You Can Help Users Change Habits https://www.nirandfar.com/how-you-can-help-users-change-habits/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Nir’s Note: This book review is by Sam McNerney. Sam writes about cognitive psychology, business, and philosophy. Many of us feel we’re drowning in the rising tide of emails, updates, and digital distractions. According to a survey by the Families and Work Institute, the majority of American workers report feeling overwhelmed or overworked. In her new book, Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has The Time, Brigid Schulte acknowledges that although the deluge of to do’s is inevitable, there are ways to regain our sanity. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: 4 Cures for Feeling Overwhelmed: A Book Review https://www.nirandfar.com/overwhelmed-a-book-review/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Today, there’s an app for just about everything. With all the amazing things our smartphones can do, there is one thing that hasn’t changed since the phone was first developed. No matter how advanced phones become, they are still communication devices — they connect people together. Clearly, we’re a social species and these tech solutions help us re-create the tribal connection we seek.  However, there are other more hidden reasons why messaging services keep us checking, pecking, and duckface posing. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Psychology Behind Why We Can't Stop Messaging https://www.nirandfar.com/the-psychology-behind-why-we-cant-stop-messaging/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Let's admit it, we in the consumer web industry are in the manipulation business. We build products meant to persuade people to do what we want them to do. We call these people "users" and even if we don't say it aloud, we secretly wish every one of them would become fiendishly addicted. Users take our technologies with them to bed. When they wake up, they check for notifications, tweets, and updates before saying "good morning" to their loved ones. Ian Bogost, the famed game creator and professor, calls the wave of habit-forming technologies the "cigarette of this century" and warns of equally addictive and potentially destructive side-effects. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Morality of Manipulation https://www.nirandfar.com/the-art-of-manipulation/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
My interview with author John Jantsch about his new book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
It’s time to abolish the reference check. The unpleasant process of calling up a job applicant’s former boss to gab about the candidate’s pluses and “deltas” is just silly. Maybe if we all just agree to stop doing it the practice will go away, like pay phones and fanny packs. Instead, I’ve learned a better way to hire that leverages a universal human attribute—namely, the fact that we’re all lazy. What’s my beef with reference checks? They don’t accomplish the job we intend them to do. In a startup, you can’t afford to hire B-players. But reference checks, which are intended to do the screening, fail to eliminate these candidates who are just so-so. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Abolish the Reference Check https://www.nirandfar.com/abolish-the-reference-check/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
A reader recently asked me a pointed question: “I’ve read your work on creating user habits. It’s all well and good for getting people to do things, like using an app on their iPhone, but I’ve got a bigger problem. How do I get people to do things they don’t want to do?” Taken aback by the directness and potentially immoral implications of his question, my gut reaction was to say, “You can’t and shouldn’t!” To which his response was, “I have to; it’s my job.” This gentleman, who asked that I not disclose his name, is the corporate equivalent of the guy the mob sends to break kneecaps if a worker doesn’t do as they’re told. For the past decade, he has run the same methodical process of cajoling, and at times threatening, people to do things they don’t want to do. “It’s really unfair and mean. I know it is,” he said. “But people have to comply or else people get hurt.” You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Ways To Get People To Do Things They Don’t Want To Do https://www.nirandfar.com/ways-to-get-people-to-do-things-they-dont-want-to-do/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 described nearly two years ago, much of Turntable’s success was due to its well-executed social engagement loop; however, that wasn’t enough. So what went wrong? You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: What Killed Turntable.fm? https://www.nirandfar.com/what-killed-turntable-fm/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 done. But what of designing for behaviors people don’t want to do, at least not right now? We all know we should eat healthier, exercise more, create fewer greenhouse gases, give more to charity, and vote in every local election from city council to school board. But do we? Despite countless organizations and nonprofits encouraging us to do what we know we should, we often don’t. Why is designing for behaviors in the user’s best interests so hard? You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: When Designing for Good Is Bad https://www.nirandfar.com/when-designing-for-good-is-bad/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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. Connect with Auron on Twitter at @auren or on Facebook. To really differentiate yourself and become a superstar in this winner-take-all world, you should be focusing on improving your strengths, not your weaknesses. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: To Become a Superstar, Improve Your Strengths (Not Your Faults) https://www.nirandfar.com/to-become-a-superstar-improve-your-strengths-not-your-faults/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 habits and human behavior. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: This Simple Equation Reveals How Habits Shape Your Health, Happiness, and Wealth https://www.nirandfar.com/this-simple-equation-reveals-how-habits-shape-your-health-happiness-and-wealth/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 cues from video games–adding scoring, virtual badges, and other game-like elements to everyday work processes to make jobs more fun. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: It's Not All Fun and Games: The Pros and Cons of Gamification at Work https://www.nirandfar.com/its-not-all-fun/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 on Pando Daily. Follow Lyle on Twitter @lylemckeany. The conventional view of lean startup ideation methodology is to identify a problem, test your riskiest assumption with a certain success criterion, talk to potential customers before coming up with a solution. Then pivot or persevere until you validate a solution. But it turns out that this conventional view isn’t always the appropriate approach. Here’s how my experience at a Lean Startup Machine(LSM) event in San Francisco earlier this month proves it. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Is “Lean Startup” Right for Your Idea? https://www.nirandfar.com/right-for-your-idea/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 swanky scotch tasting at a friend’s house. Then I heard the news. WhatsApp had been purchased by Facebook for $19 billion. When I read about the deal I blurted out the words, “Holy Crap!” so loudly that a stranger nearby gave me a disapproving look. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: How To Cope with Your Insane Jealousy Of The WhatsApp Deal https://www.nirandfar.com/how-to-cope-with-your-insane-jealousy-of-the-whatsapp-deal/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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. The California Roll provided a gateway to discover Japanese cuisine and demand exploded. Over the next few decades sushi restaurants, which were once confined to large coastal cities and almost exclusively served Japanese clientele, suddenly went mainstream. Today, sushi is served in small rural towns, airports, strip malls, and stocked in the deli section of local supermarkets. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently https://www.nirandfar.com/california-role-rule/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 startups have found success providing a place for people to connect and transact. Examples of these kinds of companies include industry titans like eBay and LinkedIn but also include some of today’s web darlings like Uber and AirBnB. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Marketplaces & The Curse of the Network Effect https://www.nirandfar.com/the-curse-of-the-network-effect/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 her surprise when she found herself unexpectedly hooked. I don’t consider myself a gambler. I’m the person who places a minimum bet at the roulette table with the specific intent of getting a free drink — after all, it’s cheaper than buying one at the bar. Yet, there I was on a Monday night, glued to my computer screen for over an hour as I watched an online auction. I couldn’t resist. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Secrets of Addictive Online Auctions https://www.nirandfar.com/online-auctions/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
The Power of No-Nir&Far

The Power of No-Nir&Far

2019-09-2300:05:55

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 relations and marketing. His blog is PR Tips For Startups and he is @Chikodi on Twitter. Sirens were beautiful creatures from Greek Mythology who lured sailors to their death.  The power of their song was so irresistible it would cause captains to steer their boats into the rocks and drown. We are also seduced daily by ideas that sound great at first, but may leave us shipwrecked, unless we have the power to say no. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Power of No https://www.nirandfar.com/the-power-of-no/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 improv comedy, there are really only two words that matter: “Yes, and.” You share a premise, form a scene, create a character, and if everything works out right, kill the audience. Then, you try and do it again with another, “Yes, and.” You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: “Yes, And”: The Two Words that Created a #1 App https://www.nirandfar.com/the-two-words-that-created-a-1-app/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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 are increasingly inundated with distractions, and companies find they need to hook users quickly if they want to stay in business. Today, companies are using more than feedback loops. They are deploying the Hook Model. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Variable Rewards: Want To Hook Users? Drive Them Crazy https://www.nirandfar.com/want-to-hook-your-users-drive-them-crazy/ 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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