social media addiction

137. Nir Eyal on Habit Forming Products and Why Tech is More Like Cannabis than Cigarettes

Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal (@nireyal) is a writer, entrepreneur, teacher and investor focused on the intersection of psychology, technology, and business MIT’s Technology Review dubbed “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.” Nir founded two tech companies since 2003 and has taught at the Stanford Grad School of Business and Institute of Design and is the author of the bestselling book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. In addition to blogging at, his writing has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today. Nir is an active investor in habit-forming technologies and his past investments include Eventbrite, Product Hunt, and a series of other very successful companies.

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In today’s episode we discuss:

  • Why the anti-tech trend is wrong about the big picture
  • The ways to incentivize productivity and happiness
  • How to overcome habit-forming products and be indistractable
  • Why liberals overemphasize tech’s role in electing Trump
  • What Nir thinks about surveillance, corporations and government
  • The destructive–and constructive–power of social media
  • Why regulation isn’t the answer to tech addiction
  • Nir’s thoughts on pros and cons of privacy
  • The important distinction between regrets and results
  • Why Facebook and Google are inherently good and what we can do about it
  • Are algorithms to blame for increasing radicalization
  • Simple smartphone hacks to make you happier
  • Why tech is more like cannabis than cocaine
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