Modern Makers #49 - How to Build Habit-Forming Products

🪝 How to hook users 💳 Stripe introduces Payments Links

Welcome to issue #49 of Modern Makers

This week in the agenda:👇

🪝 How to hook users? - 5 lessons from Nir Eyal’s book
💳 Stripe introduces Payments Links
❓ New features on Tally
🧪 Focus on Potion, a tool to create websites with Notion.


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I am also working on a new type of content. Portraits of makers, people creating digital projects and content. The aim is to better understand how they organize their work and what no-code tools they use. I want to publish the first issue during the summer.

🚨 No newsletter for the next two weeks. I’m taking some time off outside London. See you on Sunday the 27th of June for the next edition of Modern Makers.

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📚 Book of the week

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Author: Nir Eyal
Release date: 2014

I already talked about Nir Eyal and his book Indistractable in issue #26 of Modern Makers. In the last few days, I've been reading Hooked, a book that is aimed at creators and product designers. It teaches them how to build products to help people do the things they already want to do but don't. Because of a lack of a well-designed solution. Here are 5 points to remember:

  • 🪝 The Hooked Model - The cornerstone of this book. A 4-step model, each step having its own chapter. The 4 steps are :

    1. Triggers: they can be internal or external. Prompts that invite users to open your app

    2. Action: what the user will do when using the product

    3. Variable Reward: what the user will get after accomplishing an action. The fact that the reward is variable encourages us to repeat the action several times a day. When you open your fridge, you know what you are going to find inside. As a result, you don't open your fridge every hour. Checking our emails or Twitter feed offers a different experience each time we do it and a surprise effect that can be addictive.

    4. Investment: as the user will be happy with the reward he received, he will be tempted to invest in the product. This could for example happen by giving some of his data (email, phone number..), inviting friends to join him on the app, or enabling notifications

    The more often a user will complete this 4 step process, the more likely he will be to form habits. With a successful hook cycle, companies can reach their goal of creating unprompted user engagement - bringing back users to their apps without relying on expensive advertising or aggressive messaging.

  • 📈 The Fogg Behavior Model - a model created by the psychologist BJ Fogg and illustrated by the formula B = MAT. For any given Behavior to occur, you need:

    • Motivation: the user must have enough motivation

    • Ability: the user must have the ability to complete the desired action

    • Trigger: a trigger must be present to activate the behavior

    All three parts of B = MAT must be present for a singular user action to occur. Without a clear trigger and sufficient motivation, there will be no behavior. For companies building technology solutions, the greatest return on investment generally comes from increasing a product’s ease of use.

  • 🙋 The Manipulation Matrix - When building a new product, ask yourself these two questions: 1) “Would I use this product myself”? 2) “Will the product help users materially improve their lives?”

    Depending on your answers to these two questions, you will either be a facilitator, a peddler, an entertainer or a dealer. You want to be a facilitator. You're building something you would be using yourself. Which makes you more likely to understand your users’ needs and the pain points you are trying to solve. Your product is also having a positive impact by helping users to improve their lives. Don’t be a dealer.

  • 💊 Painkillers or Vitamins? One of the most famous questions asked by Silicon Valley’s investors. "Are you building a painkiller or a vitamin?” Painkillers address obvious needs and solve very specific problems. Vitamins do not necessarily solve an obvious pain point. They appeal more to our emotions than to our functional needs. Many products start out as vitamins but over time become painkillers.

  • 💪 Every behavior is driven by three core motivators - As human beings, thee motivators will drive most of our behaviors:

    1. We are seeking pleasure and avoiding pain

    2. We are seeking hope and avoiding fear

    3. We are seeking social acceptance while avoiding social rejection

“This book teaches innovators how to build products to help people do the things they already want to do but, for lack of a well-designed solution, don’t do”

“When harnessed correctly, technology can enhance lives through healthful behaviors that improve our relationships, make us smarter, and increase productivity.”

Three other content that caught my attention this week:

🏀 Chris Bosh on Stoicism, Embracing the Process, and Staying Present - Video - Daily Stoics - a conversation between Ryan Holiday and former basketball player Chris Bosh to promote his book Letters to a Young Athlete. Chris had to end his professional career in 2019 due to a heart problem. In this interview, he talks about the messages he would like to give to young athletes. Learn to manage and invest their money. Take care of your body, as much as possible. Have other passions and activities to prepare for the post-career period.

🍺 Why I Got Sober (for entrepreneurs) - Podcast - My First Million - The founder of The Hustle shares 7 lessons he learned from his decision to stop drinking. My own drinking has decreased a lot in the last year and I'm seeing some of the positive effects that Sam mentions. But, stopping drinking completely seems too difficult and restrictive at the moment.

💻 You Probably Shouldn’t Work at a Startup - Article - Napkin Math - An interesting reflection on the real attractiveness of a job in a startup. Do the potential benefits justify the risks taken by employees?

🌎 What’s new in the world of no-code

Online form tool Tally keeps on adding new features. It is now possible to set up an automatic redirect to a URL of your choice once a person has finished answering the questions on your form.

Even better, you can send the data collected in your form to this redirection URL:

  • the unique ID of the user

  • the unique ID of each answer

  • the INPUT fields

As is often the case with Tally, these changes are available on all accounts, including free accounts.

Read more on Tally’s blog

Stripe has announced the launch of Payment Links. A new product that will allow you to create a payment link in minutes. Payment Links offers a new way for businesses, retailers, and content creators to sell physical and digital products.

These unique links redirect users to a landing page or pop-up. This space displays the main information about your product or service as well as a Stripe and Apple Pay payment module.

A potential use-case: a consultant can send a link to prospects and let them book and pay for a consulting session.

As for the current limitations, it's impossible to set up an automatic redirect once payment is done. Also, no analytics are available (amount of visitors who have seen your page, conversion rate etc.).

More details on Stripe Payment Links

So many new products have been created around Notion’s success. Especially for everything that concerns the creation of websites. After Super, Fruition or Notelet, here is Potion.

Like its competitors, Potion allows you to use your own domain name. Potion also allows you to inject CSS code and change the fonts that Notion offers by default. The tool also creates SEO-optimised URLs for your articles. And automatically generates preview images for each of your contents by using the title and cover.

Pricing is $8 per month for one site, $16 for 3 sites and $24 for 8 sites.

Visit the showcase to see examples of sites created with Potion. A selection of templates is also available.

I'm curious to see if Notion plans to natively offer this type of service to its users one day 🧐

📦 And also…

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Have a great week and keep learning.


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