Start At The End

How to build products that create change

Deciding what to create at modern companies often looks like an episode of Mad Men: people throw ideas around until one sounds sexy enough and then they scale immediately. The result? Companies overspend on marketing to drive engagement with products and services that people don’t want and won’t help them be happier and healthier.

Start at the End offers a new framework for creating products and services, grounded in behavioral science. Technology executive and behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert argues that the purpose of everything is behavior change. By starting with outcomes instead of processes, the most effective companies understand what people want to do and why they aren’t already doing it, then build products and services to bridge the gap.

Wallaert is a behavioral psychologist who has led product design at organizations ranging from startups like Clover Health to industry leaders such as Microsoft. Whether dissecting the success behind Uber’s ridesharing service or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, he underscores with clarity and humor how this approach can improve the way we work and live.

This is an essential roadmap for building products that matter–and changing behavior for the better.

“…his case studies of a variety of modern startups and products like Uber, Facebook, M&M’s, and Microsoft through the lens of the IDP framework are perceptive and instructive, distilling social science theories into something digestible for anyone interested in the intersection of business, advertising, psychology, and identity.”

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“Clear and concise, this is a book for anyone who believes there is a better way to do business.  Wallaert is right: We can all be behavioral scientists.  And we all should be.”

Sallie KrawcheckCEO of Ellevest

“Matt Wallaert spends his time finding ways to help people make decisions that will enable them to live better lives, and in this book he shares how we all can.  Start at the End is a clear, insightful, wise, and powerful book that will help anyone who aim is to improve human welfare.”

Barry SchwartzProfessor at UC Berkeley and author of The Paradox of Choice and Why We Work

“The idea that products exist to change behavior isn’t new, yet most product designers don’t start with behavior as an outcome.  Wallaert’s intriguing, insightful, and often humorous new book is a guide for anyone seeking to drive customer action.”

Nir Eyalauthor of Hooked and Indistractable

“Good businesses are built on a thesis and Matt Wallaert certainly has one.  His idea that products must create behavior change is a fresh lens on a vital problem, and the scientific approach this book advocates is compelling.  Matt is one of the absolute best conceptual-meets-extremely-practical holistic thinks out there.  I will always make time to soak in his thinking and act swiftly on his ideas.”

Pip CoburnFounder of Coburn Venture