- Hardcover: 291 pages
- Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (January 2, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400064287
- ISBN-13: 978-1400064281
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (962 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Hardcover – January 2, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Unabashedly inspired by Malcolm Gladwell's bestselling The Tipping Point, the brothers Heath—Chip a professor at Stanford's business school, Dan a teacher and textbook publisher—offer an entertaining, practical guide to effective communication. Drawing extensively on psychosocial studies on memory, emotion and motivation, their study is couched in terms of "stickiness"—that is, the art of making ideas unforgettable. They start by relating the gruesome urban legend about a man who succumbs to a barroom flirtation only to wake up in a tub of ice, victim of an organ-harvesting ring. What makes such stories memorable and ensures their spread around the globe? The authors credit six key principles: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions and stories. (The initial letters spell out "success"—well, almost.) They illustrate these principles with a host of stories, some familiar (Kennedy's stirring call to "land a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth" within a decade) and others very funny (Nora Ephron's anecdote of how her high school journalism teacher used a simple, embarrassing trick to teach her how not to "bury the lead"). Throughout the book, sidebars show how bland messages can be made intriguing. Fun to read and solidly researched, this book deserves a wide readership. (Jan. 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School—While at first glance this volume might resemble the latest in a series of trendy business advice books, ultimately it is about storytelling, and it is a how-to for crafting a compelling narrative. Employing a lighthearted tone, the Heaths apply those selfsame techniques to create an enjoyable read. They analyze such narratives as urban legends and advertisements to discover what makes them memorable. The authors provide a simple mnemonic to remember their stickiness formula, and the basic principles may be applied in any situation where persuasiveness is an asset. The book is a fast read peppered with exercises to test the techniques proposed. Some examples act as pop quizzes and engage readers in moments of self-reflection. The book draws on examples from teachers, scientists, and soldiers who have been successful at crafting memorable ideas, from the well-known blue eye/brown eye exercise conducted by an Iowa elementary school teacher as an experiential lesson in prejudice following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., to conversations among Xerox repairmen. Readers who enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's Blink (2005) and The Tipping Point (2000, both Little, Brown) will appreciate this clever take on contemporary culture.—Heidi Dolamore, San Mateo County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
“Sticky” ideas are understandable, memorable, and effective in changing thought or behavior. The six underlying SUCCESs principles for making things “stick” are:
• Simplicity – Simple=core+compact. Find and share your core idea; make it simple and profound. “It’s the economy, stupid” (Clinton campaign, 1992) is a great example. The inverted pyramid approach which is used in journalism is a good tool to get your headline.
• Unexpectedness - We need to violate people’s expectations to get them to pay attention. Break existing patterns to get people’s attention. Southwest flight attendants use humor (there are two doors on either side if you need to jump!) to hold attention when giving the pre-flight safety announcement. Humans adapt incredibly quickly to patterns. Consistent sensory stimulation makes us tune out.
• Concreteness – You must help people understand and remember. Don’t use abstractions. Make your core idea concrete. Use common knowledge to make your idea stick. Our greatest villain is the Curse of Knowledge or when we assume everyone knows what we know or shares our unique perspective. We have to see it from the “others” point of view. We forget what other people do not know and slip into “abstractspeak.” Boeing’s criteria for a new plane was not “the best passenger plane in the world” but one that can seat 131 passengers and land on Runway 2-22 at LaGuardia. No ambiguity here.
• Credibility – Help people believe by making sure your idea carries its own credentials. Pass the “Sinatra Test.” Examples offered include “Where’s the Beef?” and Reagan’s “Are you better off today?” Both were credible and resonated as they were based on common shared knowledge.
• Emotional– Make people care by using the power of association, appealing to self-interest, or identity. “People donate to Rokia more than a wide swath of Africa”; “Honoring the Game” versus the use of the word ‘sportsmanship’; “I’m in charge of morale” as stated by a US military cook in Iraq. We must make people feel something to get them to care. We are wired to feel things, not abstractions.
• Stories – Stories get people to act on our ideas. Stories act as a kind of mental flight simulator, preparing us to respond more quickly and effectively. Stories are told and retold because they contain wisdom. The Healths provide what they view are the three basic story plots – the Challenge Plot, The Connection Plot, and the Creativity Plot. Stories can almost single-handedly defeat “The Curse of Knowledge.” I have been involved in a ministry for people in career-transition for over fifteen years. We consistently advise those in-transitions to create stories to highlight their skills and experience when interviewing. It is well understood that interviewers will mostly remember your comportment and more importantly, your stories.
A chapter is devoted to each principle with the authors providing context for clarity and understanding, examples, and tools to guide the development of a “sticky” idea.
The Curse of Knowledge is what escapes most when trying to pitch an idea. It is the natural psychological tendency that consistently gets in the way of our ability to successfully create “sticky ideas” using these principles. Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know. This knowledge has “cursed” us and makes it difficult to share our knowledge with others. It is because we cannot readily re-create our listeners state of mind. When a CEO discusses “unlocking shareholder value,” there is a tune playing in his head that the employees can’t hear. On the other hand, President John F. Kennedy knew that opaque, abstract missions don’t captivate and inspire people so he concretely challenged the country with “landing on the moon by the end of the decade.”
Throughout the book, the authors present “Idea Clinics” which illustrate how an idea can be made stickier. Example: ”Do smokers really need to understand the workings of the lungs in order to appreciate the dangers of smoking?”
The book itself is “sticky’ filled with stories of normal people facing normal problems who did an amazing thing simply by applying these principles, even if they were not aware that they were doing this. They distinguish themselves by crafting ideas that made a difference.
Do your ideas gain traction and “Stick” or are they cast aside for less important ideas? “Made to Stick” was written for you.
~I recommend this book if you are a seller, brander, marketer, speaker, teacher, entertainer, start-up business, established business, parent, or simply the kind of person who never seems to get your point across in a memorable way. This is a practical, useful book, at least for those of us that lack the type of thinking and understanding that these kind of professionals have.
~My thanks to the authors Chip and Dan Heath and the publisher, Arrow Books.
Made to Stick makes some very interesting points about how to not only define our core message, but also communicate it in such a manner that it “sticks” with people. I’d never heard of some of the “urban legends” and other anecdotes and experiments that were shared by the authors, but after one reading you can bet I’ll never forget them.
With respect to the authors' point, I agree that in order to make ones’ message sticky, you must go beyond the abstract and “Curse of Knowledge” in order to make a solid and lasting connection. They present a notable amount of experimental evidence, such as in the example of jurors effected by lots of unnecessary detail.
I particularly agree with the concept of defining the “Commander’s Intent” to arrive at the core of our message, and the importance of then shifting to a focus on how to share and achieve this intent through the various strategies of:
The concepts taught in this book are quite profound however grossly under applied in business. Many of us often recall and reflect on the best communicators and messages we've been exposed to if life...This book will teach you how to become the successful communicator.
Made to Stick is a true business classic that everyone should try to read by the end of his or her college career. This book was a required text for a marketing course that I took last semester. In the past, readings for college courses have been dull and very slow paced. For that reason, I initially did not want to read this book, but after getting through chapter 2, I was unable to put it down. I ended up reading the rest of the book in one night!
If a highly enjoyable yet educational read sounds appealing, then this is the book for you. Made to Stick has a way of explaining products, marketing, and sales in a way that has never been previously done. Another great thing about this book is its applicability to everyday life. Each chapter has real world examples where an idea/product has either taken off, or fallen flat. The text also goes in depth while not using overly technical marketing vocabulary.
Although it is educational, Made to Stick has a way of putting an interesting twist on every story within the book. Readers will stay engaged from front to back cover while reading Made to Stick. I do not have a single negative thing to say about this book. The book’s well written style and easy to grasp concepts make for a simple yet entertaining read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No, I didn't forgot that last 's'.
Not sure? Don't look for a right answer in the dictionary; look for the sticky answer in the book.
I feel empowered to write a great story that will distinguish my...Read more