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LTP EVENTS: How to Build Great Products Featuring Nir Eyal and John Cutler


How to Build Great Products featuring Nir Eyal and John Cutler.

A rare event with two feature talks, this was an excellent two-in-one for all attendees, with two great speakers and two exciting topics.

First up, Nir Eyal presented his talk on Hooked.

Nir Eyal is the author of two bestselling books, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. Nir has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.
Offering practical insights and actionable steps for building products people love and use regularly, Nir introduced us to the Hook model – where the Hook is an experience designed to connect a user’s problem to your product.

Some key insights from his talk were:

  • About 50% of what we do each day is done out of habit – behaviours done with little-or-no conscious thought. But these habits can be harnessed and used for good.
  • People have two kinds of triggers, external (anything in the outside environment that prompts us into action) and internal (situations, people, places, routines and emotions).
  • If you’re building a habit-forming product, whether it be consumer, fintech or B2B, you’ve got to create an association with an internal trigger. When a user feels that emotion, your product is the solution to that emotional problem. If you can understand the consumer’s internal triggers, you can send the right external triggers to prompt that user to action.
  • For any behaviour to occur, we need motivation, ability, and a trigger (b=m+a+t)
  • Six factors that can increase motivation are seeking pleasure, hope or acceptance, and avoiding pain, fear and rejection.
  • Six factors that can increase or decrease ability are time, money, physical effort, brain cycles, social deviance and non-routine.
  • Build variable rewards in your products that satiate the users’ itch, but leave them wanting more -baiting the hook for them to return and reuse.

Nir Eyal

Some interesting questions were raised in the Q&A after Nir’s talk, covering everything from the genesis of the Hook model, to applying the Hook model to task-based products and the morality of dark patterns.

Nir was also asked if he thought there might be products in specific industries that may not need to create a habit in their users. Nir’s answer was that it comes down to the product’s competitive advantage in its market – with a habit being a powerful example of competitive advantage.

“Not every product needs to be habit-forming, but every habit-forming product needs a hook.”

You can find out more about Nir’s book and on his website Nir and Far.

Next, we heard John Cutler presenting his talk on the North Star Framework.

John is a multiple hat-wearer – the author of the North Star Framework and Head of Product Education and Product Evangelist & Coach at Amplitude.

John believes that strategy is a shared narrative, and a strategy that no one understands is like a tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear the thud.

Dealing with that problem and turning a strategy from something vague to something tangible is why Jon created the North Star Framework – a model for managing products by identifying the core value that your product delivers to your customers.

Some key insights from his talk were:

  • A North Star Framework team identifies a single, meaningful metric and a handful of contributing Inputs. Product teams work to influence those inputs, which in turn drive the metric.
  • The North Star is a leading indicator of sustainable growth and acts as connective tissue between the product and the broader business.
  • Typically, a North Star will have one of 4 patterns: a count of accounts with certain behaviour; a count of humans with certain behaviour; a count of a key value producing/generating action; or a count of interactions or relationships between people/accounts with certain behaviour.
  • When developing a hypothesis about how our work will impact the things that matter in the long term, the number of steps we need to take will increase with the size of our organisation.
  • We should start looking at uncertainty as a positive thing at the start of any endeavour. Over time we will become more certain about our actions.

John Cutler

Further discussion points were raised in the Q&A after John’s talk, asking whether it is inevitable for businesses to be driven by revenue only when scaling, and how we should handle a situation where different parts of the business have possibly conflicting North Stars.

If you’re interested in learning more about the North Star Framework, you can download a free copy of the North Star Playbook from Amplitude.

Missed out on this event? Maybe you’d like to watch it again?

Check out the full video replay of both John Cutler’s talk on the North Star Framework and Nir Eyal’s talk on Hooked as part of LTP’s SEASON PASS.