Growth is Less About Building Habits and More About Breaking Them

Rommil Santiago
1 min readDec 7, 2015


Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Nir Eyal’s Hook model is pretty popular these days within Growth Hacking circles. The model goes something like this:

  • Trigger the user to do something
  • The user does something
  • The user is rewarded for his/her action
  • The user commits to the product

The end result is that the product plays a part in its own retention.

Personally, I feel the Hook model is just a re-hash of the classic Habit Loop from the field of psychology which essentially is:

  • Cue the subject to do something
  • Reward the subject for doing that thing
  • Create the routine to bridge the cue and the reward

Either way, whichever flavor you choose, the idea behind the movement is that your product needs to encourage the formation of a habit. While I’m not saying that this isn’t true — but there is an even bigger problem.

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Rommil Santiago

Collaborating across functions to tackle new initiatives, stand up new practices, and achieve lofty goals for the last 15 years.