Hoover and Eyal share 'Hooked' insights for products + books

#3 Product of the DayFebruary 16, 2014
Would you recommend this product?
No reviews yet
Ryan and Nir were kind enough to join my podcast—AuthorMBA—to talk about their book 'Hooked' and translate the science of building habit-forming products to crafting irresistible books. Because the story of a product and the content its creators may share (as Ryan does for Product Hunt) is vital to a product's identity and success, I think you'll like this conversation. Enjoy the show :)
Thanks for sharing, @MattGartland! The interview was fun and I know your series will be relevant to many of the entrepreneur / writers on Product Hunt (cc @adii, @mijustin, @nathanbarry, @natekontny). Why did you start the podcast, Matt?
Thanks Ryan, and I appreciate the question a lot. I started AuthorMBA because I observed a deep void in the conversations that were/are occurring online (and offline too, quite frankly) about how authors actually develop their careers. The "business of books" was largely being overlooked in favor of shiny objects—Internet Marketing rhetoric, social media punditry, SEO hysteria, email list building tricks, etc. These are all valuable subjects, and AuthorMBA does touch on them. However, left alone, these subjects are electrons revolving around, well, nothing—there is no nucleus to the idea. I endeavored to fill that void. With AuthorMBA, authors of different walks of life (though primarily non-fiction writers, at present) share how their businesses work—revenue streams, marketplace "fit", "product" pipelines that include but aren't limited to books, marketing campaigns, business partnerships, community building, iterative systems to validate/invalidate ideas, etc. There's a striking similarity here among the authors that are building these types of author businesses and product engineers and entrepreneurs creating tech startups. Hence the idea of the "author entrepreneur." Your (and Nir's) examination of habit-forming products in "Hooked", while on the surface may only appear relevant to fellow product guys and gals, actually has a lot of consistency and overlap with what the most successful authors are doing to build and growth their businesses. I think both communities of folks (broadly speaking) can learn a ton from each other—authors learning from entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs from authors. I work hard to architect conversations squarely at that nexus—the confluence of entrepreneurial thinking and compelling writing to expand authority, increase influence, and earn the admiration and loyalty of customers, readers, and fans. It's worth noting that there's an equally incomplete phenomenon occurring on the writing-side of the equation. There's a lot of good conversation about "how to write better" and "how to get a traditional book deal," and I'm glad that there is. Expressing ideas coherently and powerfully as to stick within the minds of the readers is an infinitely valuable skill. And traditional book deals have their place within a well-considered "author business strategy." But there's a tremendous lack of business skill development being discussed in pure writing/publishing communities. The default attitude remains: write a good book proposal, get a book deal with advance, win. That's simply a far harder target to hit these days. AuthorMBA is approaching 30 awesome episodes. The likes of Derek Sivers, Jason Fried, and Clive Thompson have joined the likes of Todd Henry, Dan Pink, and Bob Burg. Beyond the fascinating episode with Ryan and Nir, I hope Product Hunt fans check out a few other episodes. I think you'll enjoy them :) As always, I love feedback! Let me know what you all think of the show. Hit me up anytime on Twitter, @MattGartland. Thanks again Ryan for joining the show!
Fantastic response, @MattGartland. Let me know if you want any intros to some other book publishers. @eric_seufert just published his book, Freemium Economics (posted here: His background and approach is a bit different than the indie publishers you've interviewed so far.
.@rrhoover, that'd be sweet! I'd love to speak with @eric_seufert. Thanks a bunch, Ryan!