Book Review: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

book_hookedMy Rating: 7/10 Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Nir Eyal in his book proposes a methodology for building habit-forming products. He argues that products can be built and successfully transformed into ‘habits’ by following these four steps: Trigger, Action, (Variable) Reward, Investments. One of the interesting ideas in the book is what he calls ‘internal triggers’, these are forces that trigger the usage of the app but the force is initiated by the user himself/herself – internally. For example: user decides to capture a moment that s/he feels memorable in Instagram, there was no trigger from the product – Instagram. That’s where you should get to with your product, when users have enough internal triggers to keep using your product on their own without you triggering them with ads, push notifications and email newsletters.

Video of Nir Eyal summarizing his book in 30min, watch here.

10 Steps to Personas

Lene Nielsen, who specializes in Personas has developed a “10 Steps to Personas” methodology. Below is an excerpt from her paper. Please follow the source link to read further, it’s worth to read.

The persona method has developed from being a method for IT system development to being used in many other contexts, including development of products, marketing, planning of communication, and service design. Despite the fact that the method has existed since the late 1990s, there is still no clear definition of what the method encompasses. Common understanding is that the persona is a description of a fictitious person, but whether this description is based on assumptions or data is not clear, and opinions also differ on what the persona description should cover. Furthermore, there is no agreement on the benefits of the method in the design process; the benefits are seen as ranging from increasing the focus on users and their needs, to being an effective communication tool, to having direct design influence, such as leading to better design decisions and defining the product’s feature set.

A persona is not the same as an archetype or a person. The special aspect of a persona description is that you do not look at the entire person, but use the area of focus or domain you are working within as a lens to highlight the relevant attitudes and the specific context associated with the area of work.source.

10stepstopersonas

Download PDF from personas.dk

Building Trust in Your Team: The Trust Matrix

This is an interesting article by Richard Barrett on The Trust Matrix and 18 components of Trust. I have re-created the diagram for better clarity.

trust18

Character is a reflection of how you are on the inside, your intent, and the level of integrity you display in your relationship to others. These depend primarily on the level of development of your emotional intelligence and social intelligence. Intent is demonstrated by caring, transparency and openness; integrity is demonstrated by honesty, fairness and authenticity.

Competence is a reflection of how you are on the outside, your capability, and the results you achieve in your role. These depend primarily on the level of development of your mental intelligence, your education and what you have learned during your professional career. Capability is demonstrated by skills, knowledge and experience. Results are demonstrated by reputation, credibility and performance.

See the full article at https://richardbarrettblog.net/2014/04/11/building-trust-in-your-team-the-trust-matrix/

Launching New Startups in Big Corporations

Many industries are being disrupted by new and innovative technologies and many more are awaiting to be disrupted in the next 5-10 years.

This anticipation has obviously resulted in many corporations attempting to create their own innovative products, so as not to be disrupted by a third party technology or a startup. It’s quite common these days to see Telcos, Banks and Insurance companies organizing hackathons, and trying to generate innovative ideas that could be used in their respective industries.

Generating new ideas is the easy part. But as discussed in my previous post, trying to develop totally new products in a corporate setting is very challenging to say the least.

startupvscorp

3 Corporate Hurdles that Kill New Initiatives

There are at least three main corporate hurdles for a successful new product incubation within a large corporate setting, these are corporate structure, approval processes and procurement processes. Oftentimes, corporations make a mistake of starting a new product without addressing any of these three pain points. Continue reading

How to get your Passphrase from MyNxt.info wallet

If you have generated your NXT wallet directly on the MyNxt.info website, then you probably know by now that MyNxt.info wallet doesn’t have a passphrase unlike the Nxt Client. And with MyNxt.info wallet, you won’t be able to access the tokens in your account (eg; Ardor). And if you were to access your newly generated wallet (account) in the NXT Client, you won’t be able to make any transactions, since Nxt Client requires a passphrase for making transactions. Luckily, there is a solution!

It was very difficult to find this information, and I’m not sure why it’s not on the MyNxt.info’s FAQ section.

Here is the steps involved in generating a passphrase for MyNxt.info wallets. Continue reading

Potentially Promising Crypto-Startups to Watch (part-2)

You can read the part-1 here.

So much development has been happening in the crypto-technology lately. Below are some of the startups which I recommend to keep an eye on:

Waves Platform

Waves Platform is one of the most funded projects of all time, it raised ~30,000 bitcoins during its ICO (Initial Coin Offering), which was equal to ~$16mil US dollars at the time (now ~$19mil). It’s founded by a Russian entrepreneur Sasha Ivanov, who has previously founded Coinomat and was also an NXT developer.

waves

Waves promises to offer multiple services on its platform, one of the significant ones are being the following:

1) Token Issuance – any business or individual can create their own tokens on Waves Platform. And it can be traded against other tokens in the Waves DEx (Decentralized Exchange). This has a huge potential to digitize and make the traditional rewards points systems blockchain-enabled. Incent is the first startup in this area which will be using Waves Platform.

2) Decentralized Exchange (DEx) – Waves will also have DEx for users to trade crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, and other major altcoins. The tokens that are issued on Waves Platform can also be bought and sold against any other cryptocurrencies on the DEx.

3) Decentralized Crowd-Funding – This is similar to Kickstarter platform, but it has one significant difference. Normally on Kickstarter, you will get a product for supporting the startup. Whereas on Waves Platform, when you support a Startup, you invest your money in a startup and in return you will get their tokens. These tokens will act as a company share and naturally based on the performance of the startup can increase or decrease in value. Number of tokens will depend on how much money you invest in a startup. After the crowdfunding is over, tokens can be acquired or sold on the DEx.

4) Payment Gateways – Payment Gateways are the bridge between internet and banks (eg; PayPal). Unlike other blockchain based platforms, Sasha promises Waves to be a real-world friendly platform for both businesses and individuals. Anyone with an internet browser and a bank account will be able to have access to a blockchain technology and start using it for the above mentioned purposes (eg; trading digital currencies and tokens, starting a crowdfunding..etc). Various Payment gateways are being promised to be integrated to Waves Platform. Continue reading

2FA Plugin for WordPress based blogs or sites

If you want to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your WordPress based blog or website, you might want to check Clef out. Once enabled, users do not have to type passwords anymore. They just need to use the app on their smartphone to login, it’s more like scanning a QR code but way cooler (with syncying waves effect).. Below demo-video is pretty self-explanatory.

WordPress pluginhttps://wordpress.org/plugins/wpclef
Websitehttps://getclef.com

Potentially Promising Crypto-Startups to Watch (part-1)

I have written about some of the innovative startups around the bitcoin blockchain technology in my previous post. In this post, I will be covering some of the startups related to Bitcoin and I will also be covering some alternative blockchains (alt-coins or alt-chains) to Bitcoin that are potentially promising.

Syscoin

syscoinSyscoin is one of the lesser known alternative blockchains out there. Coinmarketcap, website that tracks crypto-currencies now lists more than 700 different crypto-currencies.

Syscoin is similar to bitcoin in the sense that it has its own blockchain and crypto-currency, however in addition to these two main components, it also has built-in; decentralized marketplace, aliases, digital certificates, and data-alias (datastore).

Most of the other alt-coins (alternative coins to Bitcoin) are quite similar to each other and similar to Bitcoin in itself, with just a few tweaks in the algorithm. But Syscoin has fundamental differences to Bitcoin as mentioned above, which makes it one of the unique alt-coins that stand out from the rest.

Additionally it appears that it has a strong founding team with clear (medium-term) product roadmap that has been outlined on their website.

Here is a good diagram that shows the differences between Bitcoin and Syscoin. And here is an interesting interview with Dan, who is in charge of the Dev team.

Website: http://syscoin.org

Ethereum

Ethereum is probably the most promising alternative blockchain application platform that is getting most of the spotlight at the moment besides Bitcoin and it’s rightly so. Keyword here is “blockchain app platform”, think of it as – if Bitcoin is a settlement and payment protocol, then Ethereum is a blockchain app platform. One provides bare bone functionality for financial settlement and value transfer, another provides ability to build any decentralized blockchain based apps.

ethereum

Ethereum comes with its own programming language called Solidity for programming decentralized apps or smart contracts on Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum has become popular thanks to its outgoing founder Vitalik Buterin, who goes around the world organizing DevCons for Ethereum project. I would say Ethereum’s vision mainly relies on Vitalik’s own vision. And as long as Vitalik is leading the Ethereum project, it should be heading to steady success.

Here is a list of Ethereum dapps (decentralized apps) http://dapps.ethercasts.com

Websitehttps://www.ethereum.org Continue reading