Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about habits. How do they form? How do they change? And the selfish one - how can you build a product that is habit forming? My cofunder sent me a great Nir & Far blog post that goes into detail about generating desire which is a great read to anyone building a consumer product.

Along these lines, I decided to be a bit introspective and see which products and sites are a part of my habit. A simple way was to type each letter of the alphabet into the Google Chrome address bar and see what site autocompletes. Here goes:

  • analytics.google.com
  • bankofamerica.com
  • cad-comic.com/cad
  • docs.google.com
  • eventbrite.com
  • facebook.com
  • glos.si
  • heroku.com
  • instapaper.com
  • joinblended.com
  • klout.com
  • linkedin.com
  • maps.google.com
  • news.ycombinator.com
  • optimum.com
  • plus.google.com
  • questionablecontent.net
  • reader.google.com
  • startupmullings.com
  • twitter.com
  • udacity.com
  • voice.google.com
  • wixlounge.com
  • xkcd.com
  • youtube.com
  • zerply.com

After excluding my sites (glos.si and startupmullings.com), we can organize them into the following categories:

  • Entertainment (the comic sites - xkcd, QC, CAD; Youtube; Google Reader)
  • Social Networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter)
  • Utilities (Google analytics/docs/voice, Bank of America, Instapaper, Eventbrite, Optimum, Heroku)
  • The rare letters (Zerply, Udacity, Wix Lounge). I’d like to include Klout on this list rather than admit to browsing it but I don’t know if that will be believable.

Every consumer site should strive to get to browser autocomplete status for some users rather than being semi-popular to more users. Being useful to a few passionate users and growing with their help is a much better approach than trying to immediately appeal to the mass market.

And although this exercise may be embarrassing, I’d love to see what others have as their 26 sites.

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