The Synergy of the Hooked Model and the Rise of the Curator Economy


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 07, 2023

4 min read


The Synergy of the Hooked Model and the Rise of the Curator Economy


In today's digital age, building habit-forming products and curating valuable content have become essential strategies for businesses to thrive. The Hooked model, developed by Alin Mateescu, serves as a guide for creating products that engage users and keep them coming back for more. On the other hand, the curator economy has experienced a resurgence as human curation provides a unique context and intent that artificial intelligence cannot replicate. In this article, we will explore the commonalities between these two concepts and how they can be harnessed to drive success in the modern business landscape.

The Hooked Model:

The Hooked model revolves around a four-step loop: triggers, action, variable reward, and investment. Triggers, both external and internal, prompt users to engage with a product. The action is the simplest behavior a user takes in anticipation of a reward. The variable reward is both fulfilling and leaves the user wanting more, creating an addictive cycle. Finally, investment refers to the user's effort to increase the likelihood of returning to the product.

The Rise of the Curator Economy:

In the age of information overload, the curation of content has gained significant importance. The curator economy is born out of the realization that information is more than just data – it requires context. While AI seemed poised to replace human curation, it has instead led to a resurgence of the curator economy. Curation is now recognized as one of the three Cs of information commerce, alongside creation and consumption. Platforms like Substack and Glasp have emerged as hubs for curators and writers to build an audience and foster direct communication with readers.

Common Points:

Both the Hooked model and the curator economy share a fundamental understanding of human behavior and motivation. The Hooked model emphasizes the importance of triggers, which aligns with the curator economy's recognition that context is crucial in content curation. Both concepts acknowledge that a behavior only occurs when there is motivation, ability, and a trigger.

Furthermore, both the Hooked model and the curator economy place emphasis on the value of engagement and creating a sustainable business. The Hooked model aims to build habit-forming products that keep users coming back, without relying on costly advertising. Similarly, the curator economy has proven to be not only an artistic or journalistic exercise but also a viable business model, allowing curators to connect with their audience and monetize their expertise.

Synergies and Unique Insights:

By combining the principles of the Hooked model with the curator economy, businesses can create habit-forming products that are curated with a unique context and intent. This synergy allows for a deeper level of engagement and provides users with a personalized experience that AI cannot replicate. The curated content becomes a trigger in itself, enhancing the user's motivation and desire to return to the product.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Understand your users: To apply the Hooked model effectively and curate content that resonates with your audience, it is crucial to have a deep understanding of their needs, desires, and motivations. Conduct user research, gather feedback, and continuously iterate to meet their expectations.
  • 2. Foster a sense of community: Building a community around your product or curated content can create a powerful sense of belonging and loyalty among users. Encourage engagement, facilitate discussions, and provide opportunities for users to connect with each other. This community-driven approach will reinforce the habit-forming nature of your product and foster long-term relationships.
  • 3. Continuously adapt and improve: Both the Hooked model and the curator economy require constant adaptation and improvement. Stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and user preferences. Analyze data, track user behavior, and experiment with new strategies to optimize engagement and satisfaction.


The Hooked model and the curator economy are two powerful concepts that, when combined, can create a winning formula for building habit-forming products and curated content. By understanding the principles of human behavior, leveraging triggers, and providing a unique context, businesses can foster deep engagement and create sustainable success. To harness the full potential of these concepts, it is essential to understand your users, foster a sense of community, and continuously adapt and improve. Embrace the synergy between the Hooked model and the curator economy, and unlock the power of habit and curation in your business journey.

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