Nir Eyal 2
Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. Nir previously taught as a Lecturer in Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.
Get behind the scenes of a successful book launch, and learn why authenticity may be the answer to your own growth problems.
TOPIC NIR COVERS
- What his book is about
- His successful book launch
- What’s resonated with people in this book
- How did he get sales
- What was the process
- His goal in life
- His best advice for any startup that’s trying to grow
- And a whole lot more
LINKS & RESOURCES
WATCH THE INTERVIEW
READ THE TRANSCRIPTION
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have Nir Eyal with us. Nir, thanks for coming on the program again.
Nir: My pleasure. Thanks for letting me on.
Bronson: Yeah, you’re you’re in an exclusive group. You’re one of two people to be on twice now. So it’s you and Jason Cohen and that’s it. And he told me next time somebody comes on a second time, I got to have him back on a third. So we’ll see what happens now. It’s great to have you, though. And I told people this last time, but I’ll just remind them again of who you are. You’re an author, you’re speaker, you’re a mentor, a consultant. You really just help entrepreneurs launch and develop new businesses. And you really focus a lot on habits, which is super important because we all are trying to build products that get habitual use, not just one time use. So you’re in high demand, I think nowadays. And the last time you came on the show, you’re actually still working on your book Hooked. And we talked about, hey, it’s coming soon and you’re working on it and all that stuff and now it’s out is published. So tell us, what’s the book about? Just kind of briefly, generally big picture so that people can know to go buy it so well.
Nir: The book is really about how to build habit forming product. And you know, I wrote the book that I wish I had access to when I was running my last couple of copies because I was spending a lot of time building products without really understanding the fundamentals of what drives engagement. And so I wrote these the book Hooked to Give Entrepreneurs a guide that takes a look at all the psychology research that’s been done over the years and distills it down into a very accessible format. It’s a very quick read. It’s only about 150 pages, and it’s something that entrepreneurs can kind of take off the shelf and dove into to assess, one, what habit forming potential of their product and to if it if it don’t have the funnel elements, fundamental elements, how can they improve upon those fundamental elements so that their product can be even more engaging and more habit forming? And it basically follows this format of these four steps, these four phases of a trigger, an action, a reward, an investment. And it turns out that those for those four phases we see time and time again in habit forming products.
Bronson: Now, that’s great. And I want to refer people back to our last episode that we had with you because we actually dig into those four pieces. So people are going to be mad at me now for not digging in. If they just started watching growth out of TV. We’ve already covered those four. They can go watch the old episode and we get into each one of those and you kind of break them down for us. Now I’ve had this experience where I write something and the thing I think everybody’s going to get excited about, they don’t care about. And the part that was just like so obvious to me, it wasn’t worth writing. They’re all, you know, stoked that I put in there. What’s really resonated with people in this book? What do you see people tweeting or talking about or wanting to know more about? What is it about habits that has gotten people excited when you introduce them to this material?
Nir: Know To be honest, I think it’s it’s really about the duplicity of having a model. And I think if if there’s one criticism that I think I deserve for this book is that it’s reductionist, that it’s very simple. And I don’t go into a lot of depth into the exceptions and the corner cases and the research and the psychology behind a lot of this stuff. I mean, I do touch on on some of the research, but I really want to write a book that someone like me and my past life as an entrepreneur could pick up and get through. And so I think that’s I’ve been really thankful reading the Amazon reviews and really overwhelmed actually. And we’re getting close to 205 star reviews and I think like two out of 216 total review. So I’m thrilled that the book is received so well. And what I keep hearing time and time again, it’s like, wow, you know, you’ve taken Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely and B.J. Fogg and B.F. Skinner and all these kind of amazing people who have been doing great research in the psychology field and tried to kind of bring it as a as a tool to to entrepreneurs. That was really my goal in writing the book, and I’m really happy that the simplicity of that approach is resonating.
Bronson: Yeah, you know, I mean, I’m an avid reader and I think we need both kinds of books. You know, there’s a place for the deep dove that, you know, bores you to death but gives you great data. And there’s a place for the I need a tool. And a lot of entrepreneurs, they need tools. They’re not trying to get, you know, a Ph.D. in psychology. They’re trying to figure out how to build habit forming products. And it’s 150 pages. I don’t like long books. I like short ones that have a lot of good, actionable insights. So so that’s cool to me. Now, your book has done very well. It was actually a top seller in a number of Amazon categories. And so walk me through that a little bit. Talk me through the launch of this book. And how did you do that? Because, you know, it’s hard to launch a book. I mean, you write it, nobody cares. You put it on the website, nobody cares. Like the world doesn’t care that you did something, even if it’s really good. How did you actually get sales? What was that process?
Nir: Well, you know, there’s no secrets. I was, you know, guided by this idea of of writing stuff that. I wanted answers, too. And and that was that’s where my energy came from, was that after I sold my last company, I sat down and I tried to figure out what I wanted to do next. And I came up with this hypothesis that habits matter, that the interface shrinks right as we go from desktops to laptops to now mobile devices and very soon wearable devices. There’s just less real estate to rely upon external triggers to rely upon these calls to action. So in the future, I believe that habits would begin to matter much more what I call these associations with internal triggers, people using products just automatically. And so if habits were going to matter, I wanted to figure out what the fundamentals of building habit forming products were. And it was really driven by my curiosity. And so, yeah, you know, the book took me about three months to finish, but it took me about two and a half years to come up with the content through blogging. And so I just started blogging about the questions that I was interested in answering. And so I come up with something I wanted to answer. I dove into the research. You know, of course, much of it came from from my personal experience in my last company where I was at the intersection of gaming and advertising. But by diving into kind of what I had learned when I was researching and then putting that out there into the community, I got tons of great feedback. And so the book is really a distillation of about two and a half years of research into this field, much of it informed by my blog saying, Oh, you know, you should look at this example or did you see this study? And that’s kind of what what helped coalesce the book. I also released the book in its very, very early form to my blog subscribers, those who wanted to help me with it. And a bunch of people actually signed up. About 900 people signed up to help me edit this book, and I think that was awesome. To be fair, I’ve never really heard about book sales. That’s never been my goal. And so I might be the wrong person to talk to if you’re thinking about, you know, how do I get a lot of sales last year? Because, you know, I never that was my goal. I did I self-published the book. I wanted to get it out there quickly so that I could give something to my blog subscribers. And it turns out that actually I’m bringing in bring in my blogs and having them kind of help me edit the book. The book got way better. The policy, I think, improved tremendously. And then I think I you know, I don’t I don’t have a way to quantify this, but I kind of use the book model in the book in that the investment into the book by the people who helped me edit it made it so that they kind of had this sense of buy in. It’s something they helped build. And I my guess is that that they they’ve also been telling people about the book because of that.
Bronson: Yeah. You know, I have so many thoughts about all the stuff you’re saying. It’s great. I think a lot about Seth Godin, that idea of tribes and, you know, his idea of the future is that, you know, we can lead a mini tribe and yeah, that can be a business, but it’s a tribe. First and foremost, it’s giving a name and a place to a group of people with similar interests. And it’s almost like you wrote a book, but you did it with a tribe. And that tribe becomes almost like your your marketing arm, your evangelist arm, the people going out and writing the reviews because their insight made in the chapter for whatever, you know, do you feel like that was kind of the way it came about, was more less you with knowledge, distilling it and more together? You kind of came up with something that they felt they had ownership in.
Nir: Well, I wish I could say that I had the foresight to plan that, but I really didn’t. I mean, you know, I kind of see it as my most valuable asset in doing the work I do is my energy. Mm hmm. So I really plan my day and my personal habits. My day is really planned around doing the more difficult work when my energy is highest. So I do all my writing in the morning. So I didn’t have enough cognitive capacity to plan out for my tribe and how to get people bought in. It just seemed like such a smart thing to do. Like if people were willing to help me edit the book. Mm hmm. Why wouldn’t I want to engage them? Right, like when I want my ideas out there and have feedback on, hey, what resonates and what doesn’t and what needs to be kind of more thought out. I just thought that was a tremendous resource that, you know, thank God the Web gives us the ability to do these days. I think that’s the happy byproduct of that was that I do think people got kind of more engaged around the topic and I think it also hits a nerve. You know, I think that in the book I talk about how the zombie genre is so popular these days. Have you noticed that, by the way, that like the monster of our age, you know, not Frankenstein. Dracula is kind of still popular. Vampires are kind of popular, too, but really, like, if you think about zombies, you know, zombies are like a really big deal these days. There’s so many books and movies about the zombie genre, and I think there’s there’s a theory I didn’t come up with it, but there’s this theory that, you know, each age looks for its monster based on its like its subconscious fears. And so I wonder if maybe like the fact that that so many products are hookahs, that so many products change our behavior and this weird way that we can’t really explain. Helps explain why this book has resonated with folks that we kind of know this is going on, but we’re looking for the deeper explanation of why this is happening.
Bronson: Yeah, you know, it’s funny you say zombies because my wife is a big fan of Pride and Prejudice. So as a joke, I borrow the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and they literally took the original manuscript and just put zombies all in it. Yeah, it’s the most ridiculous book ever. You know, you said something kind of interesting. You said that one of your personal habits is to work on the things like your book when your energy at its highest, which we use in the morning. And that’s exactly where I am. I know that when I first get up, my energy is just off the charts. I know that whatever I do for the first 2 hours of the day is by far the most, you know, it’s where my real creative juices are going to be flowing. That’s just something I want to kind of say for entrepreneurs. Listening is know your own kind of body rhythms and when you can actually do things and whenever you want to go with something that’s super important, do it when your energy is at its peak every day. Like let that be your at bat trying to hit the grand slam when you have that kind of energy.
Nir: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, I think that in an age where information is is a commodity today. Right. It used to be that the people who were successful in life and in business were the ones who had access to information. Well, today, you know, you don’t need a Harvard degree that says that you had all this information coming into your head. Any more information is a commodity. We can all Google stuff. So I think the differentiator of of who succeeds in the future is who’s able to manage their attention, who’s able to manage their focus, because we’re in this weird transition period where products are getting so good at attaching our attention that I think it’s going to be the people who are able to manage their attention, manage their focus, that are the ones that are able to create new, interesting products, that if you can’t do that, if you can’t manage your focus. And I think it’s a it’s it’s a real struggle. It’s certainly a struggle for me, even though I know how these things work. I mean, I wrote a book on how to create habit forming technologies. I start to fight against this stuff and build processes to make sure that I can maintain my focus and attention.
Bronson: That’s interesting. It’s almost like in the world, there’s there’s producers and consumers, producers, meaning the people that write the books, the people that create the apps, the people that build the companies, the consumers, they go to Target, they buy, they go to the App Store, they buy. And obviously, we’re all both in different ways in our life. But to be a great producer, you have to not overconsume or you don’t have the time or the willpower or the energy to actually produce a life of a producer is unique in the way it has to be structured. I mean, I look at my life, it doesn’t look like my friends. I mean, it’s it’s a different kind of life because I’m trying to put stuff out into the world that’s new, unique, different, a value. And I know it’s just something to think about, at least, is that, you know, have good habits, don’t have bad addictions so that you can actually produce something. If you’re an entrepreneur, that’s what you’re trying to do.
Nir: Yeah. I mean, a big part of why I wrote this book is, you know, there’s I think people buy the book because they want to build habit forming technologies right there. They’re growth designers. They want to figure out how to make a product that sticks and that’s awesome. And about, you know, if you look at my blog for the past two and a half years now, about 50% of what I write about is how to do that, how to build products that help people live healthier, better, happier lives. And I think that using technology to do that, to build healthy habits is awesome. I think there’s a lot of potential there to help people live better lives by helping them create better habits. So technology can facilitate that. But then the other half of why I wrote the book and the other half of everything I’ve been blogging about for the past two years, two and a half years now, is it’s about how to prevent unwanted manipulation.
Bronson: So let’s talk about something fun here. Since the last time you were on, a couple really interesting things have happened for people that are interested in habits, Flappy Bird and WhatsApp. So let’s talk about those two things because I want to get your take on them because I mean, to me it’s just bizarre, you know, the world that this is uncovering. So from a habits perspective, why was Flappy Bird so addictive? Like, did it follow your model? Did it do something different? Like, how did they put lightning in a bottle in the stupidest game imaginable?
Nir: Well, you know, I think that I you know, I wrote an essay about about Flappy Bird and the flyover phenomenon. And again, kind of the the the summary of my thoughts on Flappy Birds was that it’s it’s very endemic to technologies that can spread based on novelty. So the technologies that we see that are interesting, that are fun and engage with because they’re just so novel. The problem is and my conclusion was that without without a continual supply of new. These things fade. Mm hmm. So we have to understand that there’s two types of. Ability. And of course the brain loves variability of the work of B.F. Skinner showed us what more than 60 years ago about the power of variable rewards. And what we know is that variability that the sense of mystery of what’s going to happen keeps us highly engaged. And so with Flappy Birds, it was this very simple game that had a lot of variability, that was very novel for people. And so, you know, it had it had all the classic variable reward types of the rewards of the hunt rewards to the self at this challenge, mechanism of competence and control and mastery over this experience. And that’s very, very enticing. Now, my conclusion in the article was that even if the game maker hadn’t pulled the game, it would have died. Mm hmm. That sort of experience is, you know, not overnight, but over time, people would have gotten bored of it at the same, you know, get the little birds through the pipes. And eventually it would have died out, just like Pac-Man did. Just like Super Mario Brothers did. Just like Farmville. Slowly. Did you know when users figured out that it’s the same pattern, it’s the same experience time and time again? It’s called finite variability. Right. When the experience becomes more predictable, the more we use it, that’s finite variability. And we tend to peter out now experiences as opposed to finite variability. There’s this experience that I call infinite variability, which is something that you might find on a social network or in WhatsApp or on Twitter. Infinite variability is the more I use it, it doesn’t decrease the variability of the experience. Why? Because the variability behind WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter isn’t like beer. It’s exactly it’s not the experience. It’s the social interaction. My friends are doing interesting things. They’re posting fascinating pictures. They’re, you know, telling me about their kids and their dogs and their vacations and they’re posting jokes. That’s infinitely variable. And so those type of experiences tend to last for much, much longer periods of time, not forever. They’re actually replaced, too, but those tend to form longer term habits. And so when you see an app like WhatsApp and you ask, Oh my God, $19 billion, you know, if you want an example of the power of habit forming technology, that would be it. 74% of people who have installed WhatsApp use it every day talking about the power of habit. That’s a great case in point. Yeah.
Bronson: So this is the big takeaway from that is that if you’re an entrepreneur and you are selecting kind of what category to get into, to choose the category carefully, that even if you create something habit forming in a game, it’s not equal to habit forming in a social network that fundamentally addiction is not equal. Is that the takeaway?
Nir: Well, there’s a lot in that question. But first, I want to talk about addiction, because people use the term. So addiction, I don’t build for addiction. Addiction. Our addictions are things that have a negative consequence to you.
Bronson: I gotcha. I do not use addiction then, because my question is the same. What I mean is are not not all habit forming technologies built equally.
Nir: That’s right. That’s right. And I would say not all habit forming businesses are built equally. So, yes, you might have a product that becomes a habit for a while, but if it has finite variability, then you’re the structure of your business needs to change. I’m not denying Zynga or or King or the makers of Candy Crush Saga or any or Flappy Bird, they’re all totally fine entertainment driven businesses. But you can’t set up your business around one game that that that the companies that succeed have what’s called the studio model, just like Hollywood does. Right.
Bronson: Like it does now.
Nir: Exactly. You have to have a portfolio of games and you constantly have to be churning out new new thing. You’re content because it’s constantly about the novelty of the next experience. You just can’t survive on on one game. It’s like a Hollywood studio making one movie and expecting people to watch it again and again and again. We don’t do that right. We watch them. We figure out the happy ending, and that’s it. Most movies we don’t watch again.
Bronson: Yeah. So if you’re building something that’s more like Facebook, then the variability is built in by virtue of the people using it. And you just you’re adding things, but not for the sake of people to continue using it. You’re making the experience better, but it’s really the people that are kind of fueling the variability. If you’re building something where there isn’t as much variability, then you need to have a whole new thing to put out or publish eventually, or your business will die. So I think that’s a great point. Just a no kind of no one fight you’re in. No know what things matter for the kind of a scenario find yourself in. Now, at the end of this month, you’re going to be co-chairing the Habit Summit, which sounds like a really interesting event. I’d be afraid of what people are trying to do psychologically to be like. That was like, what? What are these messages? What are they trying to actually do here? But let me ask you this. What kinds of things are going to be covered of this conference before interest? A little bit?
Nir: No, it’s it’s it’s going to be a great event. And frankly, I did I started this event because I wanted these people to come talk to me, frankly. And. You know, the kind of people we’re bringing to the Habit Summit, like Natasha Dashiell, who wrote the book Addiction by Design, and Gretchen Rubin, who’s a New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project. And Josh Elman, who was on the teams at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. And yeah, there’s some real All-Stars coming to this event. You know, these folks wouldn’t come to my living room and talk to me and tell me there are other, you know, tried and true secrets. So I put together this event and we’re bringing together about 400 attendees. It looks like we’re going to sell out. The event starts on. It’s on the 25th of March, so just a couple less than a couple of weeks away. And it’s going to be kind of the industry best practices around what people are learning around how to drive engagement, how to drive habits, and also how to think about habits and how habits change our day to day lives.
Bronson: Yeah. What kinds of people should consider coming to this? I mean, entrepreneurs, I’m guessing people building products. Anybody else that come to mind?
Nir: Yeah, I would say it’s marketers, product managers, designers, anybody who cares about end user engagement. So if you’re if you’re the kind of product that’s sold into a big company and it’s not really used, it’s just kind of button sits into the server room you probably shouldn’t attend. But if it’s a kind of product that has users that you want to use your product regularly, then this would be a conference I think you’d benefit from.
Bronson: Yeah. Now, you said you’re almost sold out tickets. Are you going to record this at all? And then people kind of buy it after the fact because I mean, I would love to watch this.
Nir: Yeah, we don’t know quite yet, actually. It’s still the work. We’re trying to figure out how to manage all that. This is the first habit summit. We’re going to do another one in Europe. Actually, if you go to Habit Summit Europe dot com, there’s going to be one in Amsterdam in late April.
Bronson: Very cool. Let me ask you this kind of about, you know, your approach with habits as kind of your tagline right now, because you become known as like the habits guy, at least in entrepreneurship circles. You know, you’ve mentioned a lot of authors throughout our interview and they’re known for their work in habits, but not entrepreneurs really. You know, they’re known as psychologists, they’re known in the other circles. But you’ve become kind of the startup habits guy. Do you think having a label that is that niche has kind of helped your career, has helped get you a following, has helped allow you to build these conferences and write these books and kind of do what you do? And I ask because I feel like I’m in a similar situation where, you know, I could have after just marketing, but I didn’t always do growth hacking. Let’s let’s do this down again. What’s your thoughts on that?
Nir: Yeah. I wish I had a great, thoughtful answer, but thank you for for thinking that I could give you an answer. You know, actually, I’m just following my curiosity. I’m following my energy around what I want answers to. And this is this is really interesting to me. It’s literally what I wake up every morning wanting to learn more about. And so if others people benefit from that as well, then, hey, that’s that’s fantastic. There really wasn’t. No.
Bronson: Actually, there is a great insight there because this has come up a couple of times now. The fact that you’re just genuine like that is the insight. You know, earlier I asked you about the book launch and you’re like, I didn’t really build a try, but, you know, I’ve only got so much good energy of the day and went toward writing. I didn’t really go towards this big mass marketing plan, you know, ask you about, you know, your niche and you know how you’re doing it. And it’s like I it’s just what I really like doing. And I think there’s something there. Now, obviously you can light something and it fell out of because you’re not good. Knowing what you really like is also the thing you have to be good at. That genuineness can compel you in ways that just wanting something, I mean, just doing it for other reasons won’t really work. So I think that’s the takeaway. You’re genuine, you’re authentic. So.
Nir: You know, it’s it’s invoked. I talk about the morality of manipulation. There’s a whole chapter in the book devoted to the morality of manipulating user behavior. And I offer this this to buy to this grid to help product makers figure out kind of where they sit on this question. Tell us the.
Bronson: Grid. What is it?
Nir: Yeah. So so basically, if you think about a two by two of building products that you use versus products you don’t use. And then on the other axis is things that you believe materially improve people’s lives or things that you believe do not materially improve people’s lives. Then you have these four boxes and the box that we see the most successful entrepreneurs coming out of are the ones where it’s a product they use and they believe materially improves people’s lives.
Bronson: That’s awesome.
Nir: And why is it I call those people facilitators, right? So it’s not only, I think, a morally great place to be. And by the way, this isn’t a tool to judge other people and say, oh, you’re not being a facilitator, you’re being a judge yourself. Exactly. How do you spend your human capital? You know, we’re not like VCs. VCs get to spread their money over lots of companies, but entrepreneurs don’t get that luxury.
Bronson: Goal in life.
Nir: You have to ride one horse at a time. And so I think if you’re not spending your time being a facilitator, you know, you really have to be careful about about where you choose which one of those four quadrants you choose to be in. And it turns out that the easiest place to succeed not only the morally more advantageous place, but where you increase your odds of success, is by building something that you want that you believe materially improves people’s lives. Why? Because if, as you understand your user. Right, because you are the user, right? You are the customer. And so that’s where we just have the highest odds of success. And I think if there’s anything that I try and do is to stick with that, right? I believe that it’s important that we know about habit forming technology. I know I write not only for myself, but I’m writing because I think I want to help my daughter who, you know, she’s she’s about be six years old. But, you know, her world, I think, is going to be increasingly habit forming. She’s going to have to really combating it’s even more distractions and potentially addictive products. And so I want her to be aware and these are this is something that that so I think it materially improves people’s lives and it’s something that I fundamentally want the answers to. And so I call them. Maybe that’s the insight you’re looking for now.
Bronson: I think that is the insight. I mean, you took my simple question and actually, you know, went deep with it. And, you know, I was asking about a niche. But yeah, that’s actually my story, too, is that I actually really love growth hacking and talking about it and thinking about it, applying it and teaching it, and it happens to be marketable at the same time. But I never thought about it quite the way you just put it. I just thought, Oh, I chose a good niche, but it was a good niche because I loved it and people valued it and it was really an overlap and made it good. So I think you’re absolutely right. I mean, I look at all the content you produce. I mean, this is episode 120 something on here. I mean, you don’t get this much content out into the world unless you’ve got a little bit of fire in your belly pushing you forward in that direction.
Nir: That’s so true. I mean, I always tell entrepreneurs, the greatest asset you can have, the best thing you can do to succeed is don’t quit.
Nir: That’s kind of easier said than done because there’s a kind of don’t quit determination and grit that comes from doing something you hate. And then there’s a kind of don’t quit determination that comes from doing something you love.
Bronson: That’s awesome.
Nir: Yeah. It’s so much easier to do that thing you like to do than the things you do. So your ability to keep going, your ability to persevere is just so much better, right? You can last so much longer when it’s something you love and frankly, you know, you can’t fail. Like if I was writing everything I wrote over the past two and a half years and I didn’t write it for the audience, I mean, I didn’t write it for the money. I didn’t write it like, you know, being an author, that’s not a you know, I could have been much better if I went back to industry and worked a real job. You know, there’s not a lot of money and the kind of book I write that are for a niche audience. But, you know, I didn’t plan out any of the you know, how much money am I going to make in. What’s this going to become some day? Even if nobody read my stuff, I think I still would have succeeded because I met this goal of writing something that I believe can materially improve people’s lives and that I wanted myself. So how can you.
Nir: If you say, if you set your bar on the outcome alone of, Oh, I’ve got to have this multi-billion dollar exit, you know, just like WhatsApp or then then that, that you’re, you’ve got a very high chance of failure. But if your goal is the process, you know, I want to work on something that I want to exist in the world. You kind of can’t fail.
Bronson: Yeah. No, I think what you’re saying makes so much sense and it really brings together a couple ideas that I’ve seen. Other places I think about Paul Graham saying you never know which seeds will become massive oak trees. And so it can be a really small thing and it looks silly and dumb and what are they doing over there? And then it becomes Facebook, Twitter, whatever. You know, you just don’t know what the it looks like. Nobody does. So if you just try to have a picture of the end and then like force it to happen, you’re probably not going to make it happen. And then I’ve also heard so many times that it’s when you obsess over and chase after money that you actually end not broke, that you can’t make money because you want it. You have to actually take this very indirect oblique path. And that’s true with anything you want love. You want this, you want that. Any of the human desires. It’s when you go oblique and stop thinking about me, me, me, me, me. And we just live our life for others. We end up at the exact right spot with everything we wanted.
Nir: That’s right. That’s right. I mean, I think goals are overused. Mm. We use goals way too much because it turns out that goals are really good when we know exactly how to get from point A to point B. But, you know, life has a lot of, of, of turns and twists and unknowns where we’re, where we require creativity. And it turns out that goals and creativity are really hard to mesh together, that sometimes you need process and there’s uncertainty, right? If something is certain and all you need is to do it, then yes, a goal is great. But if the path is what matters, if there’s uncertainty, if there’s a matter of luck and timing and uncertainty to where you want to go, then what’s more important is the process, not the goal.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s such a good insight. I mean, even right now I’m trying to teach my five year old just how to think about life, you know? And in the process, I have to deal with things like this, like, okay, my teaching him just to do certain things because we said so or is it more about be creative. Here’s a scenario where are you going to fix it? And I think it’s just a better model because like you said, life is just it’s chaotic. That’s what I do know for sure is that certainty is very rare. So, yeah, that’s also.
Nir: That’s right. I mean, it’s a big part of why I love studying habits because I think for for a lot of the stuff that I’m into start ups and writing and, you know, this kind of stuff, there’s a lot of uncertainty to the outcome. So I try as much as possible not to care about the outcome, but to care about the process of my fulfilling, my my daily routine, my daily habits of what I want to accomplish every day. And the outcome will come right. It doesn’t matter, because what brings me fundamental happiness is the here and now.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, I asked you this last time you were here, but I asked everybody at the end of the interview, you know, maybe you have a different answer. Maybe you have something new, who knows? But what’s the best advice you have for any startup that’s trying to grow?
Nir: You know, I think it’s it’s actually what we just covered.
Bronson: And that’s what I thought you were going to say.
Nir: Is be a facilitator, you know, worry about the process. Not that not the outcome. And I can’t take credit for that line of thinking. By the way, there’s a great book called The Success Equation, which talks about when to use processes and when to use goal driven outcomes in sports and business. And so the author draws this parallel between how in a lot of arenas, like in sports, like in business, it’s really about figuring out your process, not the outcome. Because I think I see way too many entrepreneurs who are doing what they do because of the ends, and they don’t make it right. They’re not authentic. They can’t keep going. They quit too soon. Whereas the ones who are driven by process, the ones who don’t care about the end outcome, but they care about the you know, did I do what I need to do right now? Those are the ones I think could become more successful.
Bronson: Wow. What a great insight to end on here. Thank you so much for coming on growth of TV again.
Nir: My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.