Habits Are The New Viral: Why Startups Must Be Behavior Experts

TechCrunch

Editor’s Note:This guest post is written by Nir Eyal, a founder of two startups and an advisor to several Bay Area incubators. Nir blogs about technology and behavior design at nirandfar.com.

Face it; you’re hooked. It’s your uncontrollable urge to check for email notifications on your phone. It’s your compulsion to visit Facebook or Twitter for just a few minutes, but somehow find yourself still scrolling after an hour. It’s the fact that if I recommended a book to purchase, your mind would flash “Amazon” like a gaudy neon sign. If habits are defined as repeated and automatic behaviors, then technology has wired your brain so you behave exactly the way it wants you to.

In an online world of ever-increasing distractions, habits matter. In fact, the economic value of web businesses increasingly depends on the strength of the habitual behavior of their users. These habits ultimately…

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