Building Sticky Products and Personal Moats: Keys to Success


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 31, 2023

4 min read


Building Sticky Products and Personal Moats: Keys to Success


In today's competitive market, creating a product that not only captures users' attention but also keeps them engaged is crucial for success. Companies like Facebook and Evernote have mastered the art of building sticky products, which leverage user data to enhance the overall experience. Additionally, individuals can benefit from creating personal moats, unique skills or expertise that set them apart from others. In this article, we will explore the commonalities between sticky products and personal moats and provide actionable advice for implementing these strategies.

Sticky Products: The Power of Accruing Benefits and Mounting Loss

Sticky products are designed to provide users with accruing benefits, meaning the more they engage with the product, the better it gets. This can be achieved by leveraging a combination of explicit and implicit actions. For example, a social media platform can offer new features or personalized recommendations based on a user's interactions. By continuously improving the user experience, the product becomes more valuable over time, making it harder for users to leave.

On the other hand, mounting loss plays a significant role in making a product sticky. When a product becomes an integral part of a user's identity or they have invested time and effort into building a following, leaving the product would result in a significant loss. This psychological attachment creates a barrier for users to switch to competitors. Identity plays a crucial role in this aspect, as users feel a sense of belonging and connection to the product.

Building Personal Moats: Creating Competitive Advantages

In a rapidly changing economy, building personal moats can give individuals a competitive advantage in their careers. A personal moat refers to a unique set of skills, expertise, or talents that are difficult for others to replicate. To identify your personal moat, ask yourself: What is something that comes easily to me but is challenging for others? What do I possess that is difficult to reverse engineer?

One approach to building a personal moat is by leveraging the concept of Ikigai, which is the intersection of what you love, what you're good at, and what the world needs. In the digital economy, specific knowledge and rare skills have become scarce commodities, making them valuable assets. By focusing on developing and refining these skills, individuals can build career capital effortlessly.

To ensure your competitive advantage endures over time, it's essential to choose a niche that may not be significant currently but has the potential to grow in the future. This foresight allows you to position yourself as an expert in a rising industry or trend. Another approach is to establish exclusive relationships that provide access to valuable resources or opportunities. These connections can be instrumental in building your personal moat.

Generalization vs. Specialization: Finding Your Intersection

When considering specialization or generalization, it's crucial to excel in a specific area. Merely being average in multiple fields will not give you a competitive advantage. Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, popularized the idea of finding the intersection of 2-3 skills where you excel, even if you're not the best in any of them individually. This unique combination can set you apart and provide a valuable edge.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Identify your personal moat by reflecting on what comes naturally to you but is challenging for others. Invest time in developing and refining these skills to build a competitive advantage.
  • 2. Stay ahead of the curve by choosing a niche that has potential for growth in the future. Position yourself as an expert in that field to establish credibility and expertise.
  • 3. Seek out exclusive relationships or opportunities that give you access to valuable resources. These connections can help solidify your personal moat and provide additional advantages.


Creating sticky products and building personal moats are two powerful strategies for success in today's competitive landscape. By understanding the principles of accruing benefits and mounting loss, companies can design products that keep users engaged and loyal. Similarly, individuals can leverage their unique skills and expertise to build personal moats that provide a competitive advantage. By following the actionable advice provided, you can take steps towards creating a sticky product or establishing your personal moat, setting yourself up for long-term success.

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