Made to Stick

Made to Stick

Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Downloadable Audiobook - 2007
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Mark Twain once observed, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on." His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas--business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others--struggle to make their ideas "stick". Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to stick accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the "human scale principle," using the "Velcro Theory of Memory," and creating "curiosity gaps." In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds - from the infamous "kidney theft ring" hoax to a coach's lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony - draw their power from the same six traits.
Publisher: [Santa Ana, Calif.] : Books on Tape, 2007
ISBN: 9781415936566
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eAudiobook
Additional Contributors: Heath, Dan 1973-
Kahlenberg, Charles


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Apr 25, 2020

Brothers and business school professors, Chip and Dan Heath combined decades of theoretical and experimental knowledge in marketing to unveil the secret to impactful ideas. The six characteristics are compacted into the acronym SUCCES.⁣
Complex ideas are difficult to remember. However, to simplify does not mean to dumb ideas down, but rather to make them concise. This requires finding the very essence of the idea and delivering that essence.⁣
Another way to achieve simplicity is to use the target audience’s existing knowledge. If we call a pomelo a “large grapefruit,” it would be easier to understand than “the largest citrus fruit from the family Rutaceae” (Wikipedia) just because the former is based on an idea we already know.⁣
Unexpectedness acts like the “hook” of high school essays, making the audience more attentive to our messages.⁣
Unexpectedness can come from previously unknown facts. However, we have to realize that not everyone already has the same background, so before giving new information, we might have to fill some gaps first. The more people know about something, the more they will want to learn!⁣
Nothing arouses our emotions more than sensory images.⁣
Think of the famous urban legend of the traveler who accepted a drink from a stranger and woke up in a bathtub full of cubes and a kidney missing. In this story, the bathtub, the ice, the hole in the back are all visceral, which contribute to its notability.⁣
Messages from experts are often abstract. This is because while laymen, who often happen to be on the receiving end of the interaction, can only see the phenomena, while the experts see the underlying principles. Given this difference in perspective, experts often discuss the principles, but presenting the phenomena sensorily creates a much more immersive experience.⁣

🍇Credibility ⁣
Credibility not only comes from external sources of authority, such as scientists, organizations, friends, but also inside the messages themselves, through more implicit factors such as vivid details and statistics. ⁣

Internal sources of credibility, the type that require the audiences to make their own judgement, are also powerful. This is the reason that great magic tricks often involve interactions and customers tastings are so common — if our own eyes and tastebuds tell us something, isn’t that more convincing than all the statistics and experts? ⁣

We tend to feel more emotional attachment to individuals than to groups. This is the reason organizations such as the UNICEF encourage donors to assist individuals and form long-term emotional bonds. ⁣

Despite the human interest in others, none is more powerful than self-interest. This is the reason that “what Harry Potter character are you” and “Five ways to become charismatic” posts are so popular — they invoke both the human interest to learn more about and improve themselves.⁣

🍇Stories ⁣
Besides making cases more interesting, stories also serve as mental simulations. When surgeons discuss their most recent operations, the other surgeons listening are living through the same process.⁣

Successful stories have templates. The most common are “the challenge plot,” “the connection plot,” and “the creativity plot,” involving overcoming difficulties, forming relationships, and making mental breakthroughs, respectively. Think superhero stories, Romeo and Juliet, and Newton’s apple. ⁣

Made to Stick brings a healthy mixture of anecdotes and theories, with questions and clinics for the reader. It also has definitely taken a lesson out of its own book, using all six of SUCCES throughout to convince the reader of its theories. A book that I might come back to later. ⁣

For more book reviews, visit me on Instagram @ RandomStuffIRead !

Nov 17, 2017

Excellent tips and guidelines for writing. Information is presented in a understandable, easily digestible format. This book is from 2007 so it doesn't use recent examples, as well as using examples that might not have been nowadays due to recent changes in the sociopolitical climate (such as the Jared Fogle story), so try not to judge it based on that. If you are planning on getting into writing in any format, or maybe just want to make effective arguments, I highly recommend this book.

Corey G Brooks Feb 09, 2015

I hope to make this book a pebble on the road to progress I have made for myself. Having finished, I'm sure it will be.

Jan 03, 2015

a well-organized book on ways to "make things stick." I appreciated the fresh ways that were explored!

Jul 02, 2014

S - simple (the idea must be stripped to its core, and the most important concepts should jump out), U - unexpected (the idea must destroy preconceived notions about something. This forces people to stop, think, and remember), C - concrete (avoid statistics, use real-world analogies), C -credible, E - emotions (information makes people think, but emotion makes them act. Appeal to emotional needs, sometimes even way up on Maslow's hierarchy), S - stories (a story gets people into paying closer attention, and feeling more connected)

May 22, 2014

Though this book is mainly written for business and teaching professionals I think this book is excellent for the general reader as well. As it shows how to craft ideas that stick, it can be used in reverse to not let those ideas stick.

Nov 29, 2013

Great insight and a reminders that we tend for forget, like to keep what you're communicating focused on the core of the message. The core of this book is on the first disc; the remaining discs are supplementary but still useful.

JCLKimG May 16, 2013

Great read for business professionals. If you liked this, check out The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcom Gladwell and Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger.

JCLKimG May 16, 2013

Great read for business professionals. If you liked this, check out The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcom Gladwell and Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger.

Mar 27, 2012

Fantastic read, many concrete examples. The authors are clear experts on 'stickyness' and the book itself is no exception. Read it in a day & added it to my bookshelf the next.

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