Riding on the hyped wave of New York City’s current tech scene, over 100 enthused New Yorkers filled a small room on a rainy Thursday afternoon to attend TEDxSiliconAlley. One young woman named Siobhan Quinn, who worked for Google on Gmail’s launch took the stage. The fast-talking Quinn is now the Product Manager of Foursquare who leads its engagement team.

In her 18-minute talk titled “The 5 Laws of Engagement,” she asks, “How do you inspire people and motivate them to take their phone out of their pocket and check-in?” Here’s how:

Law 1: We seek comfort in relationships: Surround us with community, which we’ve seen success with like Facebook, Twitter and 4chan. Most interestingly is PostSecret, an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

Law 2: We all have something to say. So give us tools to express ourselves. Tools include comments, notes, and all the fun things Facebook has given us with Timeline, etc.

Law 3: We need to feel important. Use rewards to make us feel special. How do you make people feel special? One way is through exclusivity like Gilt Group. One way is through badges on Foursquare.

Law 4: We are hypnotized by beauty. Give us something beautiful to look out. Flipboard puts the image first. Instagram is a series of beautiful images within a community.

Law 5: We are captivated by the unknown. So target our curiosity. Foursquare does this with points! Pinterest does with page after page of constant intrigue.

instagram 3 520x520 Foursquares Product Manager on The 5 Laws of Engagement

How does this apply to you and your product? Unlike Las Vegas, which uses all these laws but then leaves people feeling like dried up doodoo at the end of a bender, companies should use the 5 Laws to make your users feel great and to help them be better people.

What does this look like? Wikipedia, Kickstarter, About.me, Rent The Runway and Mint.com. But from here? “We need to leverage it to change the world,” she finished.