Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain

Nir And Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal.

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Nir And Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-11-19 00:55
last episode published
2019-11-18 14:00
publication frequency
7.35 days
Nir Eyal author   owner  
Number of Episodes
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Technology Business Management & Marketing Podcasting Design Arts



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

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 improvi...

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, 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 abou...

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...

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 tod...

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 enjo...

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...

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 Vall...

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 (sold to LinkedIn). While at Zynga, Lisa learned how to shape user behavior, but in this essay she describe...

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 re...

“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 i...

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...

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 w...

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, 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 abou...

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 Ogl...

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 ro...

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 constant...

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 be...

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 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...

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 atte...

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 ...

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 and you can follow him on Twitter atrrhoover What do motorized vehicles, broadband internet, and smartphones have in common? ...

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 Yin asked not to be identified by her real name. A young addict in her mid-twenties, she live...

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 ...


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 re...

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...

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 compa...

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 w...

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 exciteme...

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 expe...

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. Rem...

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 ...

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 p...

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 experienc...

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 val...

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 w...

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....

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 ho...

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 prototy...

Getting Over Your Fear of Missing Out-Nir&Far-Episode#96

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 t...

Forming New Habits: Train to be an Amateur, Not an Expert-Nir&Far-Episode#95

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 s...

Escape From Message Hell-Nir&Far-Episode#94

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...

Mind Hacking a Book-Nir&Far-Episode#93

“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 publi...

How to Start a Career in Behavioral Design-Nir&Far-Episode#92

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 ...

Hooking Users One Snapchat at a Time-Nir&Far-Episode#91

Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Ryan Hoover. Ryan blogs at 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 judgemen...

Don’t Ask People What They Want, Watch What They Do-Nir&Fa

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 de...

3 Ways to Make Better Decisions Using “The Power of Noticing”-Nir&Far-Episode#89

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 sab...

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...

4 Simple Things I Did to Control My Bad Tech Habits-Nir&Far-Episode#87

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 and you can follow her on twitter @Sharbani. It’s 2 AM and you’re exhausted, bu...

From Laid to Paid: How Tinder Set Fire to Online Dating-Nir&Far-Episode#86

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 and you can follow him on Twitter at rrhoover. The Tinder app has...

Can Online Apps Change Real-Life Behavior?-Nir&Far-Episode#85

Nir’s Note: This guest post is written by Max Ogles. Max is an editor for and heads marketing for, a mobile health startup. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog at Weight gain happens pound by pound, over m...