A Review of Hooked, The Product Book.
It's a new school session and the students are beyond excited to be back. Just as Dumbledore settles to give his welcome back speech, Argus Filch bursts in, trodding across the dining room. He gets to platform panting and whispers something into Dumbledore's ear. Upon this, Dumbledore announces the other schools arriving for the Goblet of Fire competition.
Today, I'm the panting Argus Filch and I want to whisper, not so quietly, about Nir Eyal's book Hooked. I was supposed to post this earlier but yeah.
There’s this thing with a lot of books being centred around one concept, hence the chapters wrap around this central concept. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m relieved to say that Nir’s book isn’t that kind of book.
A scenario before we dive deeper;
It’s a Tuesday afternoon and just as you settle for your lunch break you hear a beep. Checking your phone, you see it’s an email notification and you open your email to check that important mail but decide to clear out the other important emails as you eat, occasionally chipping in on the convo your work friends are having. Staying a little longer than intended and feeling content because you no longer have any outstanding ‘important’ mail, you close the app, return to eating your food and gisting. Only to open the app a few hours later.
The book ‘Hooked’ gives a view of behaviour psychology as regards a consumer-product relationship. It highlights the processes or steps in creating products that rank high with consumers. Just like the habit loop illustrated in the book ‘Atomic Habits’, the steps here aren’t to be carried out just once and left to rot in a pit. Think of these steps as guidelines for creating great products.Going by its common name, the hook model highlights four steps to creating hook-forming products. From the earlier scenario, we should be able to identify these steps as;
- Variable reward
The hook model mirrors how we as consumers use products we love, digital or physical. It’s a great way for product managers to drive the success of products.
“Odufa, this should not be promoted. It should be burnt alongside every other consumer controlling concept out there”.
Be calming down. The hook model is neither good nor bad. It becomes malleable in the hands of brands who understand the concept. This brings us to the second central station in Nir’s book; Manipulation. Nir creates a chart to assist brands in understanding the logic behind their products. This could help product developers decide if their products are either positively or negatively impacting people’s lives.
The book, I would say, is a must-read for everyone involved in product development regardless of what role they play. Hooked, I believe, is a great playbook for product managers, designers, developers, marketers and customer supporters.
With all that’s been said, cheers to creating better products and achieving one goal for the month. 🥤