- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (Jan. 2 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400064287
- ISBN-13: 978-1400064281
- Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 3 x 21.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Hardcover – Jan 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
Made to Stick will solve most of your communication problems. It clearly instructs the reader on how to properly convey their ideas. The read is simple and engaging. It's such a blast to read, considering that the topic is boring. After finishing this book, you're going to wish you had read this years ago.
So if you have to give a presentation, write content, make educational videos, basically any scenario requiring you to convey your ideas. This book will help immensely.
Don't wait any longer to buy this book, because it is absolutely worth the investment.
This is a fantastic book for any executive who ever thinks she will ever inspire her workforce by issuing a statement that reeks of corporate-speak (i.e. managing the cost infrastructure to ensure profitability through multiple verticals, etc..), instead of keeping things simple - not dumbing down, but simple. Take it from a guy whose livelihood relies on keeping things simple - it's the most difficult thing to do.
Just like you were interested in Jake's story other people like stories, they want to relate to you and your product but if they can't they will find a company that they can relate to.
Chip and Dan Heath give great examples every chapter on how to improve your "Stickiness" with simple strategies. The most important being their coined,
S simple - don't lose your core message in a lot of pomp and circumstance
U unexpected - make your idea jump out and grab people's attention
C concrete - keep it easy to grasp vs. mind boggling statistics or huge numbers
C credible - is your idea believable?
E emotional - people react to emotion and it creates an empathetic bond
S stories - story telling is an age old form of communication
I have been able to use "Made To Stick" concepts in my business with great results. I used to feel that stories in real estate investing wouldn't interest anyone but I knew from the book that stories were useful, if not crucial, in creating and growing a business. Now by using my customer's concrete feedback blended with their credible testimonials and sprinkled with a little emotion I am able transmit their core experience (what they got out of working with us an how it translated to their bottom line) to reach a greater audience.
Danielle Millar, Glenn Simon Inc.
Others have already explained why they hold this book in high regard. Here are three reasons of mine. First, the Heaths brilliantly explain how to nurture ideas that will succeed by penetrating the clutter and then sticking in a "noisy, unpredictable, chaotic environment." They stress the importance of simplicity (i.e. "finding the core of the idea"), of surprise to attract attention and then interest to keep that attention, of concreteness ("language is often abstract, but life is not abstract"), of credibility (hence the importance of verifiable details), of emotion (i.e. making people care), and of storytelling that provides stimulation (knowledge about how to act) and inspiration (motivation to act). The Heaths' own explanation of all this "sticks" because it possesses the same qualities to which the acronym SUCCESs refers: their explanation is guided and informed by Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Stories.
Also, I greatly appreciate the Heaths' use of real-world situations that demonstrate why some ideas "stick" and most others don't. For example, in Chapter 5, the Heaths examine efforts to reduce litter in Texas. The state was spending $25-million a year on cleanup and costs were increasing 15% a year. Efforts to encourage better behavior (such as use of "Please Don't Litter" signs and roadside trash cans marked "Pitch In") weren't working because they weren't effective as appeals to emotion. What to do? How and why "Don't mess with Texas" stuck is best revealed within the narrative. My point now is that this and dozens of other examples give a stickiness to the Heaths' key points. Again, how they organize and present their material penetrates the clutter that (at last count) 432,367 books on communication offered by Amazon have helped to create...and that number does not include seminars, workshops, CD, DVDs, Web sites, and articles.
Key Point: Whether devising a campaign to eliminate litter or writing a book about penetrating clutter, ideas must "stick" to have any visibility and "traction" to have any impact. I agree with Thomas Edison: "Vision without execution is hallucination."
My third reason is an entirely personal one: I like to be entertained while reading a non-fiction book about effective communication. The Heaths share their insights with a light, almost playful touch. They seem to have a robust sense of humor. They not only know their stuff, they thoroughly enjoy sharing what they have learned. And they constantly cite sources that have helped them to increase their understanding of "why some ideas survive and others die." Three in particular are worth noting here: Robert Cialdini on the importance of using mysteries to reach "a higher level of unexpectedness," Robert McKee on the importance of using curiosity to fill the intellectual need to answer questions and close open patterns, and Gary Klein on how stories "illustrate causal relationships that people hadn't recognized before and highlight unexpected, resourceful ways in which people have solved problems." I highly recommend Cialdini's Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, McKee's Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting, and Klein's Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions and more recent The Power of Intuition: How to Use Your Gut Feelings to Make Better Decisions at Work.
I wholly agree with Chip and Dan Heath that, contrary to what many people may believe, almost anyone can craft ideas that make a difference. "And that's the great thing about the world of ideas - any of us, with the right insight and the right message, can make an idea stick." In this volume, the Heaths share all they have learned about how to do that. To paraphrase Henry Ford, whether you think you can or think you can't...you're right.
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