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Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain

Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain

By Nir Eyal
Nir And Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal.
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Don’t Fall for This Excuse Trap: Why “That Won’t Work for Me” is Self-Sabotaging-Nir&Far
To find your focus, learn to resist this self-sabotaging excuse. Imagine this: You’ve been diagnosed with a rare and serious disease. In hopes of keeping you alive, the doctor recommends a new, experimental course of treatment. It works for some people—maybe 60%. But it’s covered by your insurance, and if you are in the 60%, you’ll be successfully cured in six months. What do you do? Of course, you say yes. Maybe you’ll get unlucky and it won’t work for you, but it’s worth a try. You’d probably try the treatment even with only a 10% success rate. The reality is that even the best drugs don’t work for everyone, and yet we still take them. But when it comes to finding our focus, so many of us are unwilling to apply the same logic. You can read the NirAndFar blog post: Don’t Fall for This Excuse Trap: Why “That Won’t Work for Me” is Self-Sabotaging https://www.nirandfar.com/mental-blocks-to-productivity-techniques/ 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/
04:25
May 17, 2021
Will Clubhouse be a Habit or Has-Been?-Nir&Far
Maybe you’ve heard the buzz around Clubhouse, the drop-in audio chat app. It’s a bit like Twitch for conference calls. If you have no idea what “Twitch” is, you’re probably over 40. In your case, the closest analog might be those 1–900 party lines you saw advertised on late-night TV in the 1990s—but a bit less sleazy and in app form. The Clubhouse app is the new new thing, and it’s got many people hooked. The app is the latest example of a habit-forming product taking the world by storm. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Will Clubhouse be a Habit or Has-Been? https://www.nirandfar.com/hooked-on-clubhouse-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/
12:00
April 26, 2021
Smartphone Too Distracting? Here’s How to Reclaim Your Focus-Nir&Far
In 2017, I decided I’d had enough of my smartphone and the companies that make the apps that were robbing me of my time and attention. I thought I found the perfect solution: the card phone. The card phone is what it sounds like: It’s a $18 tiny phone with no social media, no internet browser, and no email. In fact, the card phone has no apps whatsoever. It has only the ability to make phone calls and send text messages. (It even has an FM tuner too. Take that, iPhone!). At first, it was edgy and interesting to be the one friend with the “weird phone.” But the edginess wore off, and I began to miss my smartphone. I missed the convenience of navigating with GPS. I missed listening to audio books and reading articles I’d saved in Pocket. And I admit: I sort of missed the connectedness to friends I felt from using social media. I liked being “liked.” You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Smartphone Too Distracting? Here's How to Reclaim Your Focus https://www.nirandfar.com/hack-back-phone-distractions/ 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/
18:24
April 19, 2021
“Tech Addiction” Is the New Reefer Madness-Nir&Far
By promoting the idea that technology is hijacking our brains and getting all of us addicted to our devices, techno-fearmongers elevate the exception rather than the rule. Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, introduced the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act, which—beyond its forced acronym—was remarkable for how aggressively it would regulate the design of certain tech products. Among other provisions, the law would ban auto-play videos on sites such as YouTube. It would require sites such as Twitter to deploy a mechanism that “automatically limits the amount of time that a user may spend to 30 minutes a day.” It prohibits sites such as Pinterest from automatically revealing content when the user scrolls to the bottom of the page, instead “requiring the user to specifically request … that additional content be loaded and displayed.” The SMART Act would do all this, according to its preamble, to protect unsuspecting people from FOMO, doom scrolling, and other “practices that exploit human psychology or brain physiology to substantially impede freedom of choice.” You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: “Tech Addiction” Is the New Reefer Madness https://www.nirandfar.com/hack-back-phone-distractions/ 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/
07:08
April 12, 2021
Love is Measured By the Benefit of the Doubt: The Secret to True Kindness-Nir&Far
Babies. They’re such jerks, aren’t they? They wake you up in the middle of the night. They make huge messes for you to clean up. And let’s not forget to mention the inevitable diaper blowouts that happen at all the wrong times. Who do they think they are? Of course, this is a pretty awful way to think of infants. We were all babies at one point, and if other people hadn’t given us some grace, we wouldn’t have made it to our first birthdays. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Love is Measured By the Benefit of the Doubt https://www.nirandfar.com/secret-to-kindness/ 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/
04:31
April 5, 2021
The Ultimate Guide to Liars and Lying: Everyone Falls Into These 4 Types-Nir&Far
There are various ways of classifying lies: by their consequences, by the importance of their subject matters, by the speakers’ motives, and by the nature or context of the utterance. Perhaps the most useful way to classify lies is by to the people who tell them. Understanding lies and liars can help us avoid getting duped as well as protect us from drifting into dishonesty ourselves. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Ultimate Guide to Liars and Lying: Everyone Falls Into These 4 Types https://www.nirandfar.com/types-of-liars/ 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/
20:33
March 29, 2021
How to Finally Find the Motivation You’ve Been Missing-Nir&Far
Nir’s Note: This guest post was written by Cheryl Maguire The laundry hamper was overflowing with dirty clothes. Lacking the motivation to throw it into the wash, I pushed the clothes down deeper into the bin so I could fit more clothes. This occurs almost every other day. When you are married and the mother of three kids, the laundry is a never-ending task especially since we are all active in sports or working out that often require multiple clothing changes in one day. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: How to Finally Find the Motivation You’ve Been Missing https://www.nirandfar.com/how-to-find-motivation/ 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/
14:13
March 15, 2021
Hypocrites: How to Survive in a World that’s Full of Them-Nir&Far
I once worked with a person we’ll call “Dick.” Dick always told me he’d get things back to me “today or tomorrow,” but he seldom did. Dick didn’t have to tell me he’d get things to me that soon. He could have said, “next week” or “as soon as I can,” and I would have been fine with that. Instead, Dick had a habit of promising to deliver by a certain date, but he wouldn’t follow through. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Hypocrites: How to Survive in a World that’s Full of Them https://www.nirandfar.com/hypocrite/ 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/
14:16
March 8, 2021
Here’s My Review of The Social Dilemma: No, Social Media Is Not “Hijacking” Your Brain-Nir&Far
Over the past few weeks, people have asked me for my review of the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. It’s no surprise. One of the film’s central themes is that social media is like an addictive drug, and I wrote the book on habit-forming technologies: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. I also have a personal connection to the film. In August of 2018, I sat with the filmmakers for a three-hour interview. We discussed everything from the subject matter of Hooked and my second book, Indistractable, to the ethics of social-media use and how we can learn to live with the digital tools that pervade our lives. I was glad to share my perspective; it was a rich and engaging discussion. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Here’s My Review of The Social Dilemma: No, Social Media Is Not “Hijacking” Your Brain https://www.nirandfar.com/social-dilemma-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/
22:42
March 1, 2021
Screen Time for Kids: Give Them What They Need-Nir&Far
Society’s fear of technology destroying our children’s future has reached a fever pitch and many parents have resorted to extreme measures. A quick search on YouTube reveals thousands of videos of parents storming into their kids’ rooms, unplugging the computers or gaming consoles, and destroying their devices. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Screen Time for Kids: Give Them What They Need https://www.nirandfar.com/screen-time-for-kids/ 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/
07:09
February 22, 2021
Be a Schedule Builder, Not a To-Do List Maker-Nir&Far
Imagine you bought a new phone, but at the end of each day, every day, the operating system crashed. Would you keep using the faulty phone? Of course not. You’d take it back to the store, complain, and get a new one. And yet, many people run their entire lives on a faulty operating system. It’s called the to-do list. Have you ever met someone who runs their day using a to-do list and actually finishes everything they said they’d do? Me neither. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Be a Schedule Builder, Not a To-Do List Maker https://www.nirandfar.com/todo-vs-schedule-builder/ 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/
16:27
February 15, 2021
Hindsight Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices-Nir&Far
Hindsight bias occurs when people feel that they “knew it all along” – when they believe that an event is more predictable after it becomes known than it was before it became known2. In other words, when we’re looking back at an event after it already happened, knowing that outcome influences our perception of the events leading up to it. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Hindsight Bias: Why You Make Terrible Lie Choices https://www.nirandfar.com/hindsight-bias/ 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/
24:54
February 8, 2021
How to Turn Off Harmful Stress Like a Switch-Nir&Far
What stresses you out? How do you deal with that dreaded feeling? And did you know there’s a bullet-proof method for disarming stress? You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: How to Turn Off Harmful Stress Like a Switch https://www.nirandfar.com/handling-stress/ 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/
13:43
February 1, 2021
This is How the Media is Misleading You on “Technology Addiction”-Nir&Far
Which of the following is true?     A. Screen time is the leading cause of anxiety and depression amongst teenagers     B. Studies have found that screen time shrinks people’s attention span to less than that of a goldfish     C. Studies show screen time causes addiction     D. None of the above The correct answer: D. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: This is How the Media is Misleading You on “Technology Addiction”  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
09:41
December 14, 2020
Screen Time for Kids: Give Them What They Need-Nir&Far
Society’s fear of technology destroying our children's future has reached a fever pitch and many parents have resorted to extreme measures. A quick search on YouTube reveals thousands of videos of parents storming into their kids’ rooms, unplugging the computers or gaming consoles, and destroying their devices. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Screen Time for Kids: Give Them What They Need https://www.nirandfar.com/screen-time-for-kids/ 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/
07:10
December 7, 2020
Be a Schedule Builder, Not a To-Do List Maker-Nir&Far
You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Be a Schedule Builder, Not a To-Do List Maker https://www.nirandfar.com/todo-vs-schedule-builder/ 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/
16:30
November 30, 2020
The Surprising Benefits of Unconditional Positive Regard-Nir&Far
In 1967, a catchy tune by The Beatles, “All You Need is Love,” became the anthem for the Summer of Love. The Flower Power culture embraced the song and its message, “love is all you need.” If someone had asked humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers what the song meant, he might have said, “Unconditional Positive Regard!” Although it didn’t quite roll off the tongue the same way, Rogers introduced the concept nearly a decade before the Beatles song, it has the same basic message: empathy invokes change. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Surprising Benefits of Unconditional Positive Regard https://www.nirandfar.com/upr-unexpected-benefits-beyond-therapy/ 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/
12:55
November 23, 2020
This is How to Repair a Toxic Work Culture-Nir&Far
When Harvard’s Leslie Perlow began to study The Boston Consulting Group, she was well aware of the firm’s round-the-clock reputation. After conducting interviews with BCG’s staff, Perlow found that this reputation was coming at a major cost. Employees were leaving the elite consulting firm, in part because they lacked control over their schedules. To address the issue, Perlow offered a simple proposition: If everyone who worked at BCG hated the always-on lifestyle, why not try to give consultants at least a “single predictable night off a week”? This would give people time away from phone calls and email notifications and allow them to make plans without the fear of being pulled back into work. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: This is How to Repair a Toxic Work Culture https://medium.com/the-mission/this-is-how-to-repair-a-toxic-work-culture-24fa03fdb138 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/
08:31
November 16, 2020
Want to Design User Behavior? Pass the 'Regret Test' First-Nir&Far
What are the ethical responsibilities of companies that are able to manipulate human behavior on a massive scale? It’s a question one hopes technologists and designers ask themselves when building world-changing products — but one that hasn’t been asked often enough. Operant conditioning, intermittent reinforcement, the search for self-actualization — the techniques used by product managers at the world’s largest companies are equal parts psychology and technology. As Sean Parker, founding president of Facebook, recently acknowledged, the company has long been engaged in the business of “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Want to Design User Behavior? Pass the 'Regret Test' First https://www.nirandfar.com/regret-test/ 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/
07:00
November 9, 2020
This is the No. 1 skill parents need to teach their kids—but most don’t-Nir&Far
As parents, we all want to raise kids who are smart and focused, especially in a world where digital distraction seems to be inescapable. (Even tech titans like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have strategies for limiting their children’s screen time.) Why? Because in the future, there will be two kinds of people in the world: Those who let their attention and lives be controlled and coerced by others and those who proudly call themselves “indistractable.” You can read the post on: This is the No. 1 skill parents need to teach their kids https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/10/stanford-psychology-expert-biggest-parenting-mistake-is-not-teaching-kids-this-important-skill.html 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/
07:13
November 2, 2020
The One Fitness App That Hooked Me For Good-Nir&Far
Nir's Note: This article is part of a series on "The Hooked Model in Action." Previous analyses have included Slack, Fortnite, Amazon's Echo, Tinder, and The Bible App. Note, I never take compensation for writing articles on my blog. Could there be a behavior more antithetical to human nature than exercise? Our caveman ancestors, if they could observe our workout habits today, would think we’ve lost our minds. We lift heavy objects into the air and return them to the exact spot where we picked them up. We buy ridiculous gadgetry to get in shape (Shake Weight anyone?). We elevate our heart rates as if we’re being chased by a hungry predator. And for what? Not to escape danger, but to undo the negative consequences of our overindulgent and underactive modern lifestyles. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The One Fitness App That Hooked Me for Good https://www.nirandfar.com/fitness-app-hooked-me-for-good/ NirAndFar, 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/
08:20
October 26, 2020
Email Management: How to Hack Back and Cure Inbox Insanity-Nir&Far
Email is the curse of the modern worker. Some basic math reveals just how big the problem is. The average office-dwelling professional receives a hundred messages per day. At just two minutes per email, that adds up to three hours and twenty minutes per day. If an average workday is nine to five minus an hour for lunch, then email eats up nearly half the day. Realistically, though, that’s a very conservative estimate, since those three hours and twenty minutes don’t include the wasted time needed to get back on task between checking emails. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Information Management found office workers took an average of sixty-four seconds after checking email to reorient themselves and get back to work. Given the hundreds of times per day we check our devices, those minutes can add up. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Email Management: How to Hack Back an Cure Inbox Insanity https://www.nirandfar.com/email-management/ NirAndFar, 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/
14:42
October 19, 2020
The Real Reason Apple and Google Want You to Use Your Phone Less-Nir&Far
Why would the companies that make your phone want you to use it less? If tech is “hijacking your brain” with their “irresistible” products, as some tech critics claim, why are these companies now acting against their own interests? Perhaps the tech giants have had a change of heart or have been persuaded by public pressure to change their ways? Hardly.I studied the sophisticated psychology these companies deploy to keep people hooked and wrote a book about how they do it. At first glance, it appears their business model would benefit from addiction. The more you use your phone, the more money they make through the apps you buy and the ads you view. However, the addiction story falls short when considering the long-term interests of these companies. Apple and Google are making it easier for consumers to cut back on phone use because it is in their interest to do so. In this case, what’s good for the user is also good for these companies’ bottom lines. Apple and Google don’t want you to get addicted. Addiction is a compulsive harmful behavior. Rather, they’d prefer you form healthy habits with your digital devices. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Real Reason Apple and Google Want You to Use Your Phone Less https://www.nirandfar.com/google-apple-less-phone-use/ NirAndFar, 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/
05:15
October 12, 2020
Kids’ Video Game Obsession Isn’t Really About Video Games. It’s About Unmet Psychological Needs.-Nir&Far
Many parents are concerned with their child’s seemingly obsessive video game play. Fortnite, the most recent gaming phenomenon, has taken the world by storm and has parents asking whether the shooter game is okay for kids. The short answer is yes, Fortnite is generally fine. Furthermore, parents can breathe easier knowing that research suggests gaming (on its own) does not cause disorders like addiction. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Kids' Video Game Obsession Isn't Really About Video Games. It's About Unmet Psychological Needs https://www.nirandfar.com/kids-video-game-obsession/ 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/
10:05
October 5, 2020
Stop Confusing Habits for Routines: What You Need To Know-Nir&Far
Habits are hot. Self-help articles extol the power of habits and books on the topic sell by the millions. Yet, like many pop psychology topics, the conventional wisdom about the effectiveness and application of habits is frequently outdated, misapplied, or flat out wrong. Building habits to change behavior the right way can be a wonderful tool to improve your life. But false notions about what habits are and what they can do can backfire. The idea of building a habit is very appealing. The popular notion that tasks can be put on autopilot makes habits sound effortless. Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply make a habit out of doing tasks like exercising, journaling, paying bills, or running a side business? Unfortunately, you can’t. Habits don’t work that way. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Stop Confusing Habits for Routines: What You Need To Know https://www.nirandfar.com/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/
14:27
September 28, 2020
The Most Important Skill of the Future is Being ‘Indistractable’-Nir&Far
I know how distractions work from the inside. For over a decade, I’ve helped tech companies build products to keep you clicking. In fact, I wrote the book about it in 2014: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. I wrote Hooked for companies who wanted to help their customers build healthy habits, like going to the gym regularly and eating right. But in the process of researching the book, I found that some products drew some people in too much, including me. I remember sitting with my daughter one afternoon doing activities from a book written to help daddies and daughters bond. One exercise consisted of asking each other the following question: “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” Between the moment I asked the question and when my daughter could answer, I felt a buzz in my pocket. A work email diverted my attention. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Most Important Skill of the Future is Being 'Indistractable' https://www.nirandfar.com/skill-of-the-future/ 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/
15:47
September 21, 2020
Peak-End Rule: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices-Nir&Far
Nir’s Note: This post part of a series on cognitive bias co-authored with and illustrated by Lakshmi Mani. Discover other reasons you make terrible life choices like confirmation bias, hyperbolic discounting and distinction bias. It’s New Year’s Eve. There I am on the dance floor - it’s teeming with people and there’s hardly space to breathe. Loud thumping music pierces my eardrums and I have no idea where my friends are. Then, the guy next to me takes a misstep, spills an entire cup of beer down my shoulder. I gasp as the cold brew winds its way down my back. But he’s too drunk and the music is too loud for him to notice. Is this supposed to be fun? What am I doing here? I hail a ride to get out of there. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Peak-End Rule: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices https://www.nirandfar.com/peak-end-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/
08:44
September 14, 2020
This is How to be Less Distracted By Having Fun in Tedious Tasks-Nir&Far
From comic books and radio programs to TV shows and Atari games, the world has always been full of things that distract us. Today, most of us blame our phones or, more specifically, social media, Words with Friends, or Netflix as the reason we can’t get anything done. Yet these aren’t the real culprits. Instead, our distraction is usually driven by our desire to escape discomfort, including boredom, fear, and anxiety. When you binge on The Office rather than doing your taxes, watching Michael, Pam, and Dwight is your (understandable) way of avoiding an activity you deem to be a tedious task. The secret to staying focused at times like these is not to abstain from The Office — you’ll just find another distraction — but to change your perspective on the task itself. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: This is How to be Less Distracted By Having Fun in Tedious Tasks https://www.nirandfar.com/tedious-tasks/ 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/
13:51
September 7, 2020
Extrinsic Motivation: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices-Nir&Far
Everyone struggles with dwindling or misplaced motivation from time to time, and I'm no exception. Thankfully, I've learned to overcome my penchant for procrastination: getting what I want done, even when I don't feel like it. Learning the difference between the two kinds of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic, made all the difference. Take the dirty work of household chores. Today, I'm generally pretty good at keeping things tidy. As a married dad, I clean the dishes, take out the trash, and make sure the shower drain stays unclogged. Don't be fooled though. I wasn’t always this way. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Extrinsic Motivation: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices https://www.nirandfar.com/extrinsic-motivation/ 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/
13:47
August 31, 2020
1 Thing You Need To Know To Save You From Your Email Inbox-Nir&Far
Is your email inbox taking over your work-life? Are you unable to get any “real” work done because you’re too busy responding to emails? Do you feel stressed, distracted, and overwhelmed when you see new emails pop up in your email inbox? You’re not alone. The average office-dwelling professional received 100 messages per day. Researchers have found that when people are interrupted during a task, by checking email for instance, they tend to subsequently make up for lost time by working faster. However this comes at a cost — higher levels of stress and frustration. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: 1 Thing You Need to Know to Save You From Your Email Inbox https://www.nirandfar.com/email-inbox-office-hours/ 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/
07:13
August 24, 2020
How to Get the Most Out of Your Calendar-Nir&Far
It doesn’t so much matter what you do with your time; rather, success is measured by whether you did what you planned to do. It’s fine to watch a video, scroll social media, daydream, or take a nap, as long as that’s what you planned to do. To create a weekly timeboxed schedule, you’ll need to decide how much time you want to spend on each domain of your life. How much time do you want to spend on yourself, on important relationships, and on your work? Note that “work” doesn’t exclusively mean paid labor. The work domain of your life can include community service, activism, and side projects. You can read the Nir And Far blog post on: How to Get the Most Out of Your Calendar https://www.nirandfar.com/your-calendar/ 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/
05:38
August 17, 2020
Can't Kick a Bad Habit? You're Probably Doing It Wrong-Nir&Far
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 habits. That's why I'm fat. Where does that leave me?" I deeply sympathized with the woman. "I was once clinically obese," I told her. She stared at my lanky frame and waited for me to explain. How did I hack my habits? You can read the Nir And Far blog post on: Can't Kick a Bad Habit? You're Probably Doing It Wrong https://www.nirandfar.com/bad-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/
07:51
August 10, 2020
Learn How To Avoid Distraction In A World That Is Full Of It-Nir&Far
Distraction is a curse of modern life. Between our cell phones and computer screens, not to mention our kids and coworkers, our attention is constantly being diverted. It can become difficult to focus on any one task—or any one person—for very long. If anything, the world is becoming a more distracting place. Technology is becoming more pervasive and persuasive. But hoping tech companies change their ways and your boss finally learns to respect your time may take longer than you’re willing to wait. Better to equip yourself to manage distraction with strategies you can implement right away. After all, although distractions aren’t necessarily your fault, managing them is your responsibility. You can read the Nir And Far blog post on: Learn How to Avoid Distraction In a World That Is Full Of It https://www.nirandfar.com/distractions/ 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/
19:46
August 3, 2020
What You Need to Know When Visualizing Your Goals-Nir&Far
Nir’s Note: This guest post is written by Dr. Todd Snyder. Dr. Snyder is a Psychologist and Productivity Coach at ToddSnyderCoaching.com The world is full of self-help myths and half-truths. One bit of folk psychology that won’t seem to die is the idea that we can “visualize” our path to success by imagining the life we want. In fact, studies find visualizing our personal goals as if we’ve already achieved them can hurt our chances of ever making them a reality. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: What You Need to Know When Visualizing Your Goals https://www.nirandfar.com/visualizing/ 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/
09:18
June 22, 2020
If Tech Is So Distracting, How Do Slack Employees Stay So Focused?-Nir&Far
How Slack’s culture kills distraction by building psychological safety, telling employees to go home, and using lots and lots of emojis. If there’s one technology that embodies the unreasonable demands of the always-on work culture that pervades so many companies today, it’s Slack. The group-chat app can make users feel tethered to their devices, often at the expense of doing more important tasks. Over 10 million people log on to Slack every day. Slack’s own employees, of course, use Slack—they use it a lot. And if distraction is caused by technology, then they should surely suffer the consequences. Surprisingly, according to media reports and Slack employees I spoke with, the company doesn’t have that problem. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: If Tech is So Distracting, How Do Slack Employees Stay So Focused? https://www.nirandfar.com/slack-use/ 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/
10:11
June 8, 2020
How To Disarm Internal Triggers and Improve Focus-Nir&Far
While we can’t control the feelings and thoughts that pop into our heads, we can control what we do with them. Research of smoking cessation programs performed by Dr. Jonathan Bricker, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, suggests we shouldn’t keep telling ourselves to stop thinking about an urge; instead, we must learn better ways to cope. The same applies to other distractions like checking our phones too much, eating junk food, or excessive shopping. Rather than trying to fight the urge, we need new methods to handle intrusive thoughts. You can read the Nir And Far blog post on: How to Disarm Internal Triggers and Improve Focus https://www.nirandfar.com/internal-triggers/ 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/
06:58
June 1, 2020
How to Design for 'Normals'-Nir&Far
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 the 50+ market As web watchers, entrepreneurs, and investors search for the next big thing, they’d be wise to focus on innovations that can be easily adopted by technology novices. A recent string of companies, including Groupon and Pinterest, have found success outside the early-adopter digerati by building products simple enough to be used by just about anyone. Designing with tech novices in mind can mean the difference between staying niche and going mainstream. Here are three principles for how to design software for people Silicon Valley too often disparagingly calls “normals.” You can read the Nir And Far blog post on: How to Design for 'Normals' https://www.nirandfar.com/go-ask-grandma-how-to-design-for-normals/ 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/
06:26
May 25, 2020
How to be More Productive and Focus (+ Free Schedule Maker)-Nir&Far
Many people bristle at the idea of keeping a schedule. They don’t want restrictions and prefer the freedom to tackle things as they come up. While an open day is wonderful on a vacation when you have nothing to do but relax, vacations eventually end. In the real world, there is work to finish, people to meet, and a family to nurture. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: How to be More Productive and Focus (+ Free Schedule Maker) https://www.nirandfar.com/schedule-maker/ 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/
28:04
May 18, 2020
How Bad is Tech Use for Kids, Really?-Nir&Far
It feels impossible to tell if the technology our kids use should be celebrated or feared. A few years ago I wrote a book, Hooked, about how technology can be used to change our habits. I intended the book to teach startups how to build healthy habits, but now I’m not so sure. With headlines telling us technology is hijacking our brains, I started second guessing the impact of our devices, especially when it comes to our kids. How alarmed should we be? Is this a crisis or a fear frenzy? I wanted to understand what the studies really tell us about the effect personal technology is having on our children. You and read the Nir and Far blog post on: How Bad is Tech Use for Kids, Really? https://www.nirandfar.com/social-media-depression-potatoes/ 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/
16:59
May 11, 2020
How Apps Can Shape Your Future Self-Nir&Far
Nir's Note: This guest post is written by Jeni Fisher, a London-based Googler who consults startups on applying behavioral insights to achieve business and user goals. Early on in my role as an Apps partner manager at Google Play, I was drawn towards the Self-Improvement apps space because their persuasive influence transcends screen-level interactions. Their mission is to persuade people to take real-life actions that lead to long-term behavior change and ultimately shape how they live their lives. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: How Apps Can Shape Your Future Self https://www.nirandfar.com/apps-shaping-future-self/ 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/
13:43
May 4, 2020
Here's How Fortnite 'Hooked' Millions-Nir&Far
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Patricio O’Gorman, technology consultant and professor at Universidad de Palermo. If you have kids, you’ve likely heard about Fortnite. The wildly popular online battle game has amassed over 125 million players and hosts more than 3 million concurrent players. The game “has brought in more revenue in a single month than any other game of its kind,” according to industry watchers, grossing over $1 billion so far this year. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Here's How Fortnite 'Hooked' Millions-Nir&Far https://www.nirandfar.com/fortnite-hooked-millions/ 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/
07:60
April 27, 2020
Here Are The 4 Simple Introspection Steps That Will Boost Self Awareness-Nir&Far
When faced with a challenge, where do you find the insight to move your life forward? Last year, over fifteen million books were sold in the self-help genre.1 That doesn’t account for the videos, courses, and workshops that fuel this multibillion-dollar industry. Include business and diet books, and that number balloons to over $1.7 billion spent on advice-seeking books.2 But there’s a secret the gurus don’t want you to know—many of the answers to life’s most important questions can be found inside of you, for free. It's called introspection. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Here Are the 4 Simple Introspection Steps That Will Boost Self Awareness https://www.nirandfar.com/introspection/ 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/
15:30
April 20, 2020
This is What Most People Get Wrong About Willpower-Nir&Far
You come home after a long day of work and you immediately curl yourself up on the couch and binge the latest Netflix craze for hours, while you scroll and scroll through your social media feeds and snack on potato chips even though you're "on a diet." You look around and see that the garbage needs to be taken out, laundry needs to be folded, and your child's toys are strewn across the living room floor. The list of productive things you could be doing seem endless, yet you can't seem to find the willpower to peel yourself off of the couch to do them. Is this a regular occurrence for you? Do you realize that you are in this rut but can't seem to find the willpower to overcome it? You're definitely not alone in this situation. This is called ego-depletion. Ego-depletion is a theory that willpower is connected to a limited reserve of mental energy, and once you run out of that energy, you're more likely to lose self-control. This theory would seem to explain your post-work defeat. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: This is What Most People Get Wrong About Willpower https://www.nirandfar.com/about-willpower/ 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/
07:18
April 13, 2020
Is Tech Ruining Kids? How to Safely Manage Screen Time-Nir&Far
Our fears about what technology and smartphones are doing to our kids has reached a fever pitch. Articles with headlines like “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” and “The Risk Of Teen Depression And Suicide Is Linked To Smartphone Use” have, ironically enough, gone viral online. “It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades,” writes Dr. Jean Twenge in The Atlantic. “Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.” You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Is Tech Ruining Kids? How to Safely Manage Screen Time https://www.nirandfar.com/manage-screen-time/ 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/
10:18
April 6, 2020
Fundamental Attribution Error: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices-Nir&Far
Nir’s Note: This post part of a series on cognitive bias co-authored by Nir Eyal and illustrated by Lakshmi Mani. Discover other reasons you make terrible life choices like confirmation bias, hyperbolic discounting and distinction bias. There I was, sitting in a packed movie theatre. I waited two years for this sequel and I’ve got enough popcorn and diet soda to last me a full three hours. Fifteen minutes into the movie, the hero and villain are facing off for the first time when a lady bursts into the theater. Trying to find a seat, she awkwardly tries to squeeze into the middle of the row in front of me blocking the best part of the movie. “What a rude and inconsiderate person!” I think to myself as I dodge her body when she scuffles by. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Fundamental Attribution Error: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices https://www.nirandfar.com/fundamental-attribution-error/ 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/
08:57
March 30, 2020
[Focus Guide] How To Make The Most Out Of Your Time And Your Life-Nir&Far
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote that “few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough energy to do it.”1 Why don't we do what we know needs to get done? Why is it so hard to concentrate and finish what we start? In our digital age, is there any hope of “mustering enough energy” to stay focused on what really matters so we can live the lives we want? In this article, you’ll learn tools and strategies to finally get, and stay, focused. This guide is for people who want to harness the power of focus, but don’t have a lot of time. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: [Focus Guide] How To Make The Most Out Of Your Time and Your Life https://www.nirandfar.com/focus/ 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/
14:26
March 23, 2020
Distinction Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices-Nir&Far
Nir’s Note: This post part of a series on cognitive bias co-authored with and illustrated by Lakshmi Mani. Discover other reasons you make terrible life choices like confirmation bias and hyperbolic discounting. There I was, looking at an enormous wall of television screens. Each one flashed the exact same scene  —  a beautiful flower slowly blooming to reveal each petal, pistil, and stamen in exquisite super high definition detail. It was downright sexy. But now it was time to make my choice. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Distinction Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices https://www.nirandfar.com/distinction-bias/ 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/
08:54
March 16, 2020
"Addicted" to Technology? Why You Need To Turn The Tables And Hack Back!-Nir&Far
Does repeating a falsehood make it true? It seems so, at least when it comes to the myth that technology is addicting us all. While a reassessment of the role our gadgets play in our lives is healthy, many people are buying into a self-defeating fallacy that ironically makes it harder to dial back. Not only does the idea that technology “hijacks” our brains smack of the same moral panics leveled at previous pastimes—Novels corrupt women’s minds! Pinball machines create an unstoppable compulsion!—it also miscategorizes what addiction really is. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: "Addicted" to Technology? Why You Need to Turn The Tables And Hack Back! https://www.nirandfar.com/addicted-to-technology/ 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/
09:43
March 9, 2020
How to Trigger Product Usage that Sticks-Nir&Far
If you make web or mobile products, you’re actually in the business of task management. You’re counting on your product to become a recurring part of your customers’ lives. In order to accomplish that, you have to motivate your users to build a new habit., Sometimes software companies forget that what they’re building isn’t just a product that people find valuable. Part of what you’re building is how people will find and experience that value. It’s easy to overlook, because it seems like enough of a challenge to build a great product that really helps users with their needs. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: How to Trigger Product Usage that Sticks https://www.nirandfar.com/how-to-trigger-product-usage-that-sticks/ 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/
09:60
March 2, 2020
Viral Loops Or Viral 'Oops'?-Nir&Far
Recently, MessageMe announced it had grown to 1 million users in a little over a week's time. The revelation captured the attention of envious app makers throughout Silicon Valley, all of whom are searching for the secrets of customer acquisition like it's the fountain of youth. "Growth hacking" has become the latest buzzword, as investors like Paul Graham profess it's functionally that matters. Clearly, everyone wants growth. To someone creating a new technology, nothing feels better than people actually using what you've built and telling their friends. Growth feels validating. Growth tells everyone the company is doing things right. At least that's what we want to believe. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Viral Loops or Viral 'Oops'? https://www.nirandfar.com/viral-loops-or-viral-oops/ 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/
06:43
February 24, 2020
Our More Addictive World-Nir&Far
We're in an addictive world. The world has become harder to resist. Products are getting better at giving people what they want and - for the most part - that has been good thing. Yet, the historical trend-line shows products are also becoming more habit-forming. All products alleviate customers’ pain. Even products used to gain pleasure must first generate desire, a unique form of discomfort, which the customer will pay to satiate. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Our More Addictive World https://www.nirandfar.com/our-more-addictive-world/ 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/
05:38
February 17, 2020
Is Some Tech Too Addictive?-Nir&Far
Addiction can be a difficult thing to see. From outward appearances, Dr. Zoe Chance looked fine. A professor at the Yale School of Management with a doctorate from Harvard, Chance's pedigree made what she revealed in front of a crowded TEDx audience all the more shocking. "I'm coming clean today telling this story for the very first time in its raw ugly detail," she said. "In March of 2012 ... I purchased a device that would slowly begin to ruin my life." You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: "Is Some Tech Too Addictive?" https://www.nirandfar.com/tooaddictive/ 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/
12:35
February 10, 2020
Hunting for Habits: Keying in on smart design to make a product irresistible-Nir&Far
Nir's Note: In this guest post, Ryan Hoover describes the design decisions and strategies used to build a habit-forming product, largely influenced by the learnings on this blog.  Follow @rrhoover or visit his blog to read more about startups and product design. Recently, Nathan Bashaw and I launched Product Hunt, a daily leaderboard of the best new products. As two product enthusiasts, we wanted to create a community to share, discover, and geek out about new and interesting products. But to make it a success, we knew we had to make it a habit, a product people would use every day. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Hunting for Habits: Keying in on smart design to make a product 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. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/
14:43
February 3, 2020
How You Can Help Users Change Habits-Nir&Far
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/
10:46
January 27, 2020
4 Cures for Feeling Overwhelmed: A Book Review-Nir&Far
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/
09:42
January 20, 2020
The Psychology Behind Why We Can't Stop Messaging-Nir&Far
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/
06:40
January 13, 2020
The Morality of Manipulation-Nir&Far
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/
13:02
December 30, 2019
Nir Eyal Interview with John Jantsch - Nir&Far
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/
18:38
December 23, 2019
Abolish The Reference Check-Nir&Far
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/
06:58
December 16, 2019
Ways To Get People To Do Things They Don’t Want To Do - Nir&Far
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/
10:03
December 9, 2019
What Killed Turntable.fm? - Nir&Far
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/
04:14
December 2, 2019
When Designing for Good Is Bad - Nir&Far
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/
06:14
November 25, 2019
To Become a Superstar, Improve Your Strengths (Not Your Faults) - Nir&Far
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/
06:07
November 18, 2019
This Simple Equation Reveals How Habits Shape Your Health, Happiness, and Wealth - Nir&Far
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/
07:32
November 11, 2019
It’s Not All Fun And Games: The Pros and Cons of Gamification at Work - Nir&Far
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/
07:53
November 4, 2019
Is “Lean Startup” Right for Your Idea?-Nir&Far
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/
09:07
October 28, 2019
How To Cope with Your Insane Jealousy Of The WhatsApp Deal-Nir&Far
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/
06:10
October 21, 2019
People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently - Nir&Far
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/
07:46
October 14, 2019
Marketplaces & The Curse of the Network Effect-Nir&Far
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/
07:38
October 7, 2019
The Secrets of Addictive Online Auctions-Nir&Far
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/
10:41
September 30, 2019
The Power of No-Nir&Far
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/
05:55
September 23, 2019
“Yes, And”: The Two Words that Created a #1 App-Nir&Far
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/
07:10
September 16, 2019
Variable Rewards: Want To Hook Users? Drive Them Crazy-Nir&Far
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/
08:40
September 9, 2019
This Will Be the Last Article You Read-Nir&Far
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 writing,” I’d reply. “Then it’s back to work. No distractions this time.” You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: This Will Be the Last Article You Read https://www.nirandfar.com/this-will-be-the-last-article-you-read/ 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/
07:57
September 2, 2019
This Simple Equation Reveals How Habits Shape Your Health, Happiness, and Wealth-Nir&Far
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. Known today as Lewin’s Equation, this tiny expression contains most of what you need to know about building good habits, breaking bad ones, and making progress in your life.Let’s talk about what we can learn from Lewin’s Equation and how to apply these ideas to master the habits that shape your health, happiness, and wealth. 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/
07:32
August 26, 2019
The Unbelievable Future of Habit-Forming Technology-Nir&Far
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, McGonigal discusses impact of future technologies on behavior, habits, and the way we design products. Q: You recently worked on a project designed to visualize the future of technology. The idea was that using some future, not-yet-existent product, nicknamed FeelThat, people could actually share emotions with each other. (Here’s a link to the video.) What was the thinking behind it?Jane McGonigal: This is a project with Institute for the Future to look at some of the emerging technologies that are being prototyped, tested, and innovated right now. We try to imagine where technologies might take us in a decade or more if they became widespread and popular. We use a process to collect signals, or “clues,” about the future that suggest things that might have the potential to change our lives down the road. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Unbelievable Future of Habit-Forming Technology https://www.nirandfar.com/the-unbelievable-future-of-habit-forming-technology/ 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/
09:52
August 19, 2019
The Secret Marketing Power of Evolutionary Psychology-Nir&Far
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 of evolutionary psychology in modern marketing. Q: Let’s start with a simple question: What is evolutionary psychology?Gad Saad: Evolutionary psychology is applying evolutionary theory to understand the human mind. Evolution is typically used to explain all biological diversity, from how flowers evolved, to how a particular trait of an animal evolves. For example, why does the peacock have its tail that way that it does? The exact same tools of biology apply when we’re trying to understand the human mind. Put simply, evolutionary psychology is the pursuit of understanding the human mind through an evolutionary lens. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Secret Marketing Power of Evolutionary Psychology https://www.nirandfar.com/the-secret-marketing-power-of-evolutionary-psychology/ 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/
07:44
August 12, 2019
The Real Reason You’re Addicted to Your Phone-Nir&Far
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 check your smartphone to see if you’ve received messages or notifications on Facebook? Does your phone distract you from your studies or work? Do your friends, parents, children, or spouse complain that you are not giving them enough attention because of your phone? You may be addicted to your phone. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Real Reason You’re Addicted to Your Phone-Nir&Far https://www.nirandfar.com/the-real-reason-youre-hooked-to-your-phone/ 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/
09:26
August 5, 2019
The Psychology of Notifications: How to Send Triggers that Work-Nir&Far
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. Pavlov found he could elicit an involuntary physical response in his dogs with a simple jingle. Every time his bell rang, the dogs began to salivate.Today, the beeps, buzzes, rings, flags, pushes, and pings blasting from our phones prompt a similar response. They are the Pavlovian bell of the 21st century and they get us to check our tech incessantly.However, as powerful as these psychological cues are, people are not drooling dogs. Your product’s users can easily uninstall or turn off notifications that annoy them. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Psychology of Notifications: How to Send Triggers that Work https://www.nirandfar.com/notifications-that-work/ 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/
07:10
July 29, 2019
The Number One Reason Good Habits Don't Last-Nir&Far
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 quoted and incredibly scary stat reveals that 9 out of 10 people who undergo heart bypass surgeries as a result of poor health are unable to change their habits, even with their lives on the line.We’ve all failed at something, though luckily most of us don’t face death as a consequence.  You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Number One Reason Good Habits Don't Last https://www.nirandfar.com/the-number-one-reason-good-habits-dont-last/ 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/
09:17
July 22, 2019
The Next Secrets of the Internet - Nir&Far
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 attention.”Secrets people can’t or don’t want to divulge are a common thread behind Thiel’s most lucrative investments such as Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as several other breakout companies of the past decade. The kinds of truths Thiel discusses — the kinds that create billion dollar businesses in just a few years — are not held exclusively by those with deep corporate pockets. In fact, the person most likely to build the next great tech business will likely be a scrappy entrepreneur with a big dream, a sharp mind, and a valuable secret. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Next Secrets of the Internet: https://www.nirandfar.com/the-next-secrets-of-the-web/ 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/
08:25
July 15, 2019
The Mind-Hack I Used to Help My Father Lose Weight
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 took up smoking because, as he sheepishly admits, “that’s what business people here did back then.” And to ward off the boredom of long car rides between sales calls, he began eating American-made junk food.Eventually, he stopped smoking. However, the junk food habit got the best of him. His weight ballooned by over 50 pounds and in his late 50s his doctor told him he was pre-diabetic. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Mind-Hack I Used to Help My Father Lose Weight https://www.nirandfar.com/father-lose-weight/ 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/
05:50
July 8, 2019
The Future is Driven by Interface Changes-Nir&Far
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? These technologies all introduced new forms of user interface, transforming its user’s daily lives and behaviors.I’ve been studying Nir Eyal’s work and recently read his article on the power of interface changes. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Future is Driven by Interface Changes https://www.nirandfar.com/driven-by-interface-changes/ 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/
05:17
July 1, 2019
The Billion Dollar Mind Trick: An Intro to Triggers-Nir&Far
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 in Palo Alto and, despite her addiction, attends Stanford University. She has all the composure and polish you’d expect of a student at a prestigious school, yet she succombs to her habit throughout the day. She can’t help it; she’s compulsively hooked. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Billion Dollar Mind Trick: An Intro Triggers https://www.nirandfar.com/billion-dollar-mind-trick-2/ 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/
07:01
June 24, 2019
The Behavioral Economics Diet: The Science of Killing a Bad Habit-Nir&Far
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 father’s struggle with bad eating habits. He had put on weight over the last few decades and despite several attempts, he had trouble taking it off. In his late 60s he faces pre-diabetes and a daily ritual of taking a handful of pills. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: The Behavioral Economics Diet: The Science of Killing a Bad Habit https://www.nirandfar.com/behavioral-economics-diet-the-science-of-killing-a-bad-habit/ 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/
08:47
June 17, 2019
Temptation-Nir&Far
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 reward. Recent advances in neuroscience allow us to peer into the brain, providing a greater understanding of what makes us want. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Temptation https://www.nirandfar.com/temptation/ 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/
08:04
June 10, 2019
Strange Sex Habits of Silicon Valley-Nir&Far
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 caress–but not each other, of course. She began to fondle her cell phone, while I tenderly stroked the screen of my iPad. Ooh, it felt so good. If our nightly habits were any indication, we were having a love affair with our gadgets instead of each other. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones substituting foreplay for Facebook. According to a recent study, fully one-third of Americans would rather give up sex than lose their cell phones. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Strange Sex Habits of Silicon Valley https://www.nirandfar.com/strange-sex-habits-of-silicon-valley/ 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/
09:56
June 3, 2019
Stop Building Apps, Start Building User Behaviors-Nir&Far
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 companies is setting its sights on changing user behaviors; the small behaviors in your life, hoping to reap big rewards. They’re using the best practices of interaction design and psychology to build products with your brain in mind. Here’s how they’re doing it. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Stop Building Apps, Start Building User Behaviors https://www.nirandfar.com/stop-building-apps-and-start-building-behaviors/ 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/
05:25
May 27, 2019
Research Reveals How to Take a Better Break-Nir&Far
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 to spend our break time. While some breaks can leave us refreshed and reenergized, others tend to leave us depleted and drained. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Research Reveals How to Take a Better Break https://www.nirandfar.com/how-to-spend-your-breaks-wisely-and-have-a-better-workday/ 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/
10:13
May 20, 2019
Psychology of Sports: How Sports Infect Your Brain - Nir&Far
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 and anguished in defeat. Many paid thousands of dollars to travel around the globe to be there. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Psychology of Sports: How Sports Infect Your Brain https://www.nirandfar.com/how-sports-infect-your-brain/ 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/
10:51
May 13, 2019
Personalized eCommerce Is Already Here, You Just Don’t Recognize It - Nir&Far
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 and luminaries describing what needs to happen for e-commerce to finally realize the promise of personalized shopping, a future where online retailers predict what you’ll want to buy before you know yourself. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Personalized eCommerce Is Already Here, You Just Don't Recognize It https://www.nirandfar.com/personalized-ecommerce-is-already-here/ 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/
08:13
May 6, 2019
Nostalgia: A Product Designer’s Secret Weapon-Nir&Far
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. Remember pogs? Remember Tubthumping? Remember Nickelodeon GUTS? Now pause… How do you feel right now? Did reading those words stimulate any emotional reaction? Did it bring back memories? Excite you? Make you smile? You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Nostalgia: A Product Designer’s Secret Weapon https://www.nirandfar.com/2014/01/nostalgia-a-product-designers-secret-weapon.html 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/
09:24
April 29, 2019
It’s How You React to Failure that Matters: Why Ego is the Enemy-Nir&Far
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 his car company into the ground with a mix of outsized ambition, negligence, narcissism, greed, and mismanagement. As the bad news began to pile up and the picture was made clear and public, how do you think he responded? Was it with resigned acceptance? Did he acknowledge the errors his disgruntled employees were speaking out about for the first time? Was he able to reflect, even slightly, on the mistakes and decisions that had brought him, his investors, and his employees so much trouble? You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: It’s How You React to Failure that Matters: Why Ego is the Enemy https://www.nirandfar.com/2016/07/react-failure-matters-ego-enemy.html 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/
11:31
April 22, 2019
How to Design Behavior (The Behavior Change Matrix)-Nir&Far
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 peoples’ habits so that behavior change becomes permanent. Here’s the problem: Until now, the explosion of methods for changing behavior has been a hodgepodge of author-centric noise. Reading all of the books, blogs, and blowhards can leave one confused by their seemingly conflicting advice. Pundits push their methods as cure-alls. For example, some argue that earning badges and leveling-up can inspire the clinically obese to become slim again. They can’t. Others claim that being good at anything requires strict goal setting and performance objectives. It doesn’t. The goal of this article is to help you identify which of the different techniques would be most effective for each type of behavior change. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: How to Design Behavior (The Behavior Change Matrix) https://www.nirandfar.com/2012/03/how-to-design-behavior.html
08:53
April 15, 2019
How to Break 5 Soul-Sucking Technology Habits-Nir&Far
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 and technology at blog.jasonshah.org. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonyogeshshah. “Not long ago, in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Texas, a 17-year-old boy was weathering withdrawal at its worst. His body shuddered with convulsions. He hurled tables and chairs around the hospital. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on How to Break 5 Soul-Sucking Technology Habits https://www.nirandfar.com/2013/10/how-to-break-5-soul-sucking-technology-habits.html
17:20
April 8, 2019
How to Boost Desire Using the Psychology of Scarcity-Nir&Far
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 cookies in two identical glass jars. One jar held ten cookies while the other contained just two stragglers. Which cookies would people value more?https://twitter.com/JulesMaltz You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: How to Boost Desire Using the Psychology of Scarcity https://www.nirandfar.com/2013/07/psychology-of-scarcity.html 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/
10:35
April 1, 2019
How Technology is Like Bug Sex-Nir&Far
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 technology, perhaps it is useful to reflect upon the plight of one particular bug, the male julodimorpha beetle, who like us at times, can’t get enough of a bad thing. His misplaced desire is so powerful that it threatens the survival of his species. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: How Technology is Like Bug Sex https://www.nirandfar.com/2013/01/how-technology-is-like-bug-sex.html 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/
10:24
March 25, 2019
How Successful Companies Design for Users’ Multi-Device Lives-Nir&Far
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 live in a world where the number of connected devices is growing on a daily basis at an immense rate, with people constantly switching between these devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets, TVs and more). The question arises how we can design optimally for a device to be used together with other devices. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on How Successful Companies Design for Users' Multi-Device Lives https://www.nirandfar.com/2014/07/how-successful-companies-design-for-users-multi-device-lives.html 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/
09:12
March 18, 2019
Hooks: An Intro on How to Manufacture Desire-Nir&Far
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 hooked users and observers deriding the narcotic-like properties of these web sites.  We’re on the precipice of a new era of the web. As infinite distractions compete for our attention, companies are learning to master new tactics to stay relevant in users’ minds and lives. Today, just amassing millions of users is no longer good enough. Companies increasingly find that their economic value is a function of the strength of the habits they create. But as some companies are just waking up to this new reality, others are already cashing in. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Hooks: An Intro on How to Manufacture Desire https://www.nirandfar.com/2012/03/how-to-manufacture-desire.html 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/
10:26
March 11, 2019
Good Products Start With Good Questions-Nir&Far
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, to live test. Jake put together an exclusive excerpt from the book for NirAndFar.com readers. Here it is: Monday of the sprint week begins with an exercise we call “Start at the End”. It’s a look ahead—to the end of the sprint and beyond. You and your team will lay out the basics: your long-term goal and the difficult questions that must be answered to get there. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Good Products Start With Good Questions https://www.nirandfar.com/2016/03/good-products-start-good-questions.html 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/
07:19
March 4, 2019
Getting Over Your Fear of Missing Out-Nir&Far
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 hit song by Echosmith. The official video has been viewed over 15 million times on YouTube, perhaps tapping into something deeper than mere adolescent angst. You can read the Nir and Far blog post: Getting Over Your Fear of Missing Out https://www.nirandfar.com/2015/01/fomo.html 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/
08:19
February 25, 2019
Forming New Habits: Train to be an Amateur, Not an Expert-Nir&Far
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 selling books are about how to acquire world-class skill. Daniel Coyle’s, The Talent Code looks at how deliberate practice is required to achieve greatness.  Joshua Foer shows us how we must smash past performance plateaus to be any good.  Worse, Tim Ferris’s 4-Hourseries is doing for hipsters what crash diets do for teenage girls, making promises of quick transformations. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Forming New Habits: Train to be an Amateur, Not an Expert https://www.nirandfar.com/2012/02/train-to-be-amateur-not-expert.html
07:17
February 18, 2019
Escape From Message Hell-Nir&Far
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. And then things turn ugly. Some crafty entrepreneur figures out how to exploit the system and starts building a business around it. He reaches millions of people and opens the floodgates to countless others who seek to emulate his methods. Inevitably, the messaging channel is deluged with crap, clogging the pipes of what was once an efficient mode of communication — again, email or Facebook. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on Escape From Message Hell https://www.nirandfar.com/2012/10/escape.html 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/
07:14
February 11, 2019
Mind Hacking a Book-Nir&Far
“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 publishing agent who represents several authors I read and admire. “I don’t know if you’ve already started down this road or whether writing a book interests you, but I’d be delighted to have a conversation with you if you are interested.” You can read the Nir and Far blog post on Mind Hacking a Book https://www.nirandfar.com/2014/11/mind-hacking-a-book-deal.html 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/
07:52
February 4, 2019
How to Start a Career in Behavioral Design-Nir&Far
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 wanted to do with my life. My first job out of college took good care of me and was interesting enough, but I knew it wasn’t the career I wanted in the long term. I needed something else, so I started reading and exploring what was out there. One day, as I was reading a blog post on psychology, I discovered a book called Nudge that caught my eye. I bought it immediately and devoured it. The book opened a whole new realm of psychology and economic thinking that I had no idea existed me in a way nothing else had. This was what I was looking for in my search. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: How to Start a Career in Behavioral Design https://www.nirandfar.com/2016/12/behavioral-design.html 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/
21:11
January 28, 2019
Hooking Users One Snapchat at a Time-Nir&Far
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 were reasonable. It’s impossible to predict the success of a product on day one, let alone its ability to change user behavior. But hindsight is beginning to prove critics wrong. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Hooking Users One Snapchat at a Time https://www.nirandfar.com/2013/08/hooking-users-one-snapchat-at-a-time.html 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/
09:35
January 21, 2019
Don’t Ask People What They Want, Watch What They Do-Nir&Far
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 design strategy for startups. Q: You have an impressive background as a designer at Google, Yahoo, and now at Khosla Ventures. Could you describe how your design role translates in venture capital? Irene Au: As entrepreneurs start to recognize how crucial design and design thinking are to the success of their company, they are motivated to understand how to hire good designers, how to position them inside their organizations, and what this means for their product and development. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Don’t Ask People What They Want, Watch What They Do https://www.nirandfar.com/2017/02/dont-ask-people-what-they-want-observe-how-they-act.html 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/
06:44
January 14, 2019
3 Ways to Make Better Decisions Using “The Power of Noticing”-Nir&Far
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 sabermetrics, the data-driven approach to understanding baseball. Bean noticed that instead of using data to predict player performance, baseball professionals relied on faulty intuitions and anecdotes. Commentators debate how effective sabermetrics actually is, but Bean’s original insight—that we can’t learn that much about baseball just by watching—changed the game. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on 3 Ways to Make Better Decision Using "The Power of Noticing" https://www.nirandfar.com/2015/01/powerofnoticing.html 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/
10:50
January 7, 2019
Conquer Distractions With This Simple Chart-Nir&Far
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, focus is exactly what it takes to get things done and get ahead. Distraction might appear more available than ever, but it is nothing new. Over 2,000 years ago, Socrates and Aristotle debated the nature of “akrasia,” (pronounced uh-crazy-uh), our tendency to act against our better judgement. To the ancient Greeks, mere mortals were prone to distraction due to our weakness of will. Easy for them to say — Socrates and Aristotle never had to resist binge-watching “Game of Thrones.” You can read the Nir and Far blog post on Conquer Distractions With This Simple Chart https://www.nirandfar.com/2016/08/tech-distractions-addictions.html 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/
10:41
December 31, 2018
4 Simple Things I Did to Control My Bad Tech Habits - Nir&Far
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 unable to sleep. You’ve been cycling through Facebook, email, and other online media for hours. You want to stop, but you can’t. This technology-induced insomnia will likely ruin your next day (or two) of productivity — and you’ve really achieved nothing according to your list of to-dos. Late-night surfing has become a bad habit you’d like to break, but just can’t figure out how. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: 4 Simple Things I Did to Control My Bad Habits https://www.nirandfar.com/2013/09/4-simple-things-i-did-to-control-my-bad-tech-habits.html 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/
12:56
December 24, 2018
From Laid to Paid: How Tinder Set Fire to Online Dating-Nir&Far
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 become a fixture in the U.S. App Store as one of the top 25 social networking applications, generating 1.5 million daily matches as more than 50 percent of its users login multiple times per day. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: From Laid to Paid: How Tinder Set Fire to Online Dating https://www.nirandfar.com/2013/08/from-laid-to-paid-how-tinder-set-fire-to-online-dating.html 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/
07:37
December 17, 2018
Can Online Apps Change Real-Life Behavior?-Nir&Far
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 years, and that’s how Dave Haynes found himself sixty pounds away from a healthy BMI. In his career, Dave was immersed in the startup world; he helped start Soundcloud, which allows anyone to share and produce music and has over 10 million users. So when he ultimately resolved to reverse this disturbing weight trend, he naturally looked to technology for the solution; he downloaded the popular fitness apps and bought an Internet-connected Withings scale. But could these online apps help him achieve real-life behavior change? You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Can Online Apps Change Real-Life Behavior? https://www.nirandfar.com/2014/05/can-online-apps-change-real-life-behavior.html 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/
11:01
December 10, 2018
Bible App: Getting 100 Million Downloads is More Psychology Than Miracles-Nir&Far
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 did. Gruenewald says a user of his app walked into a business of ill repute when suddenly, out of the heavens, he received a notification on his phone. “God’s trying to tell me something!,” Gruenewald recalled the user saying, “I just walked into a strip club — and man — the Bible just texted me!” You can read the Nir and Far blog post: Bible App: Getting 100 Million Downloads is More Psychology Than Miracles https://www.nirandfar.com/2013/07/the-app-of-god-getting-100-million-downloads-is-more-psychology-than-miracles.html 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/
19:16
December 3, 2018
3 Ways I Use Technology to Find Happiness-Nir&Far
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 iPad to find happiness. Using phones and other technology to find happinessSave We all have the power to change our lives and find happiness. I know this because I found ways to reprogram my inner circuitry and change my perspective of the world to ultimately find happiness. A few simple steps inserted into my daily routine dramatically improved my life and helped me feel more happy, joy, and fulfillment. Surprisingly, many of my new rituals were made possible using the technology I carry with me every day. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: 3 Ways I Use Technology to Find Happiness https://www.nirandfar.com/2013/10/5-ways-to-use-your-tech-habits-for-good.html 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/
06:59
November 26, 2018
Go Ask Grandma: How To Design For “Normals”-Nir&Far
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 the 50+ market As web watchers, entrepreneurs, and investors search for the next big thing, they’d be wise to focus on innovations that can be easily adopted by technology novices. A recent string of companies, including Groupon and Pinterest, have found success outside the early-adopter digerati by building products simple enough to be used by just about anyone. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Go Ask Grandma: How to Design for "Normals" https://www.nirandfar.com/2012/03/go-ask-grandma-how-to-design-for-normals.html 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/
07:11
November 19, 2018
Mass Persuasion, One User At A Time-Nir&Far
“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: Mass Persuasion, One User At A Time https://www.nirandfar.com/2012/10/mass-persuasion-one-user-at-a-time.html 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/
10:16
November 12, 2018
Time for Digital Hat Racks-Nir&Far
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 stiff drink. What can we learn from Don’s habits? First, that scotch and submissive secretaries always equal drama. But what of that fedora? There’s a lesson there too. You can read the Nir and Far blog post on: Time for Digital Hat Racks https://www.nirandfar.com/2012/12/we-need-a-digital-hat-rack-2.html 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/
11:20
November 5, 2018
Today's Behaviors, Tomorrow's Startups-Nir&Far-
Nir’s Note: In this guest post, Ryan Hoover takes a look at how new behaviors are shaping tec