Nir’s ‘Hooked’ for Cities – Supratim Dasgupta – Medium

Nir’s ‘Hooked’ for Cities

Yesterday attended a 1 hour session by Nir Eyal on how to build habit forming products using his famous Hooked Model. He mentioned he moved back from Silicon Valley to Silicon Alley New York and totally loves it here. That got me thinking if Cities also have Hooked Model and if City officials can use that to increase the appeal of the city to draw more people to them.

For people unfamiliar with hooked model there are four steps. Trigger, Action, Variable Reward, Investment.

Lets see what those mean in context of New York City which attracted 60Million people in 2016 and am sure a significant percentage of them were domestic visitors who keep coming back for more.


External: People world wide see New York City in movies, television, print, social media of friends who visit the city. This creates a burning desire to visit the city even if they have been here many times.

Internal: Every international visitor I have spoken to have told me that they always wanted to visit NYC.Its almost a religious trip for them


For millions for people who live in the suburbs or tristate area taking a train or driving into the city is no big deal. Once inside its super convenient to walk or take the subway or Uber around. Manhattan is not that big!

Variable Rewards:

You can get pretty much all kinds of experiences because the city is so dense and packed with culture and sights. So just walking 20 streets can make you go through different experiences and sights. Plus who can beat the different kinds of street food and restaurants!


People make note of things they will do next time , like see more museums, try more different cuisines, broadway shows etc etc. You never leave New York without making a note of things you will do next time.

I think all great cities have a similar hook and cities that want to drawn more tourists should seriously look at how to use the hook model to draw more crowds. Cheers!

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