Nir Eyal: Why did you write this book?
NE: You’ve done some fascinating research. From what you’ve learned, what surprised you the most?
NE: What lessons should people take away from your book regarding how they should design their own behavior or the behavior of others?
DC: Through the course of writing The Long Game, I’ve really become attuned to the importance of having a trusted group of advisers around you. They should be people that are supportive and want the best for you and should be knowledgeable about your field or industry, so they can give you helpful and relevant advice when you hit snags and need guidance.
The most important lesson is that in moments of duress, you often really can’t trust yourself. It’s very easy to either stay committed for too long to an idea that isn’t working, or, conversely, to give up too soon on something promising because it isn’t unfolding as fast as you’d like, and you fall into despair. But when you have a knowledgeable group of advisers around you, they can provide a dose of the rationality that you need and help you discern whether it’s time to give up or keep pressing forward.
NE: Writing a book is hard. What do you do when you find yourself distracted or going off track?
NE: What’s one thing you believe that most people would disagree with?
DC: Most people become parents–in the U.S., it’s 86% of women and 62% of men–and that is way too many. I was lucky enough to have a caring and devoted mom, but anyone can see the frequent pathology around us inflicted by careless and damaged people. The numbers should be reversed, and only the best–and best-adjusted–should qualify. I’d like parenting to go from being the standard of “everyone does it” to an elite qualification that one (morally, if not legally) has to earn the right to do. (I am not a parent, and I have endless respect for the patient people who do it well.)