Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The instant classic about why some ideas thrive, why others die, and how to improve your idea's chances--essential reading in the "fake news" era.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 news stories cir...

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Title:Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Author:Chip Heath
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Reviews

  • Trevor

    I came upon this book in a convoluted fashion. It was nearly recommended to me in a round about sort of way by Richard, a GoodReads friend, when he pointed to a review of

    by someone else on GoodReads who is some sort of expert in the field (although, I have to admit I’m still not totally sure which field that is). The expert felt Gladwell was a little too simplistic. I enjoyed Gladwell’s books very much and so was keen to see what made them seem too simplistic to someone ‘in the field’ and

    I came upon this book in a convoluted fashion. It was nearly recommended to me in a round about sort of way by Richard, a GoodReads friend, when he pointed to a review of

    by someone else on GoodReads who is some sort of expert in the field (although, I have to admit I’m still not totally sure which field that is). The expert felt Gladwell was a little too simplistic. I enjoyed Gladwell’s books very much and so was keen to see what made them seem too simplistic to someone ‘in the field’ and what a book they would recommend as not being too simplistic would be like. I was surprised, then, when this one started by praising Gladwell’s

    .

    This is a very interesting book. There is no question that this book would be very useful if you are a teacher or a journalist – it shows how stories are better than lists of facts and statistics and shows how structuring your message around concrete examples that are directly relevant to the needs of your audience is going to make your audience much more interested in what you have to say. This all sounds far too familiar and far too simple – but actually, the book is remarkably good at breathing new life into these near clichés. The problem is that everyone knows things like KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) but no one ever bothers following this advice, mostly because it is given as abstract advice (some idiot talking about the KISS Principle) rather than in good, clear examples in ways that are designed to make the lesson stick.

    Many of the stories in this book I had heard before, in fact, many more of the stories in this book than in any of Gladwell’s books, but they are told not so much to get you to drop your jaw in surprise, which does seem to be Gladwell’s gift even when I don’t agree with him, but rather to instruct,

    The clever thing they do in the book is to use lots of stories from not-for-profit organisations that are seeking to get their message across – stories not just about people making money – and how these organisations have been ‘creative’ in attracting the attention of their potential audience. The point that is made over and again is that it really has nothing to do with being creative, it is about knowing what the rules are that make a good story – a story that is directed at illuminating your key message.

    That is another thing that I learned in this book – that there should be one message, not three, that if you have three main messages no one will remember any of your ‘messages’.

    At the start of this book I was worried that it might turn out to be a ‘standard American Self-help book’ as it did have that kind of smell about it. But it redeemed itself nicely. The advice is the kind of advice one can never hear too frequently about the benefits of keeping a message simple and direct. It is not about dumbing down the message, it is about making the message clear. And there is a hell of a difference between those two.

    Like a good self-help book there is even a crappy acronym, which in this case is SUCCES:

    • Simple — find the core of any idea

    • Unexpected — grab people's attention by surprising them

    • Concrete — make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later

    • Credibility — give an idea believability

    • Emotion — help people see the importance of an idea

    • Stories — empower people to use an idea through narrative

    But crappy acronyms can be sadly underrated and this one worked well at structuring the book and in summarising the message. (I’ve stolen the dotpoints from here

    )

    This is, in fact, a very good book and the sort of book that anyone who tends towards corporate speak should be forced to read – well, forced to read after they have been sent to a re-education camp for due punishment for six months. I’m thinking along the lines of bamboo under fingernails or perhaps waterboarding before Obama bans it. If you are afraid that you might make PowerPoint presentations that are just like everyone else’s – and that idea sends a shiver down your spine – this book is for you.

    I’ve been rather lucky lately, I’ve found a string of fascinatingly interesting books.

    Enjoy…

  • Mohamed Al Marzooqi

    دعوني أبدأ بالقول بأنني أكره كتب التنمية وتطوير الذات وكل ما دار في فلكها، وأنني أفضل قراءة كتاب طبخ حول طريقة إعداد "المحشي" على قراءة كتاب لأولئك المحتالين الذين يبيعون وهمًا للمغفلين. كما أن أسوأ كوابيسي هو أن أستيقظ يومًا في جزيرة معزولة وليس في حوزتي سوى كتاب من هذا النوع على شاكلة "كيف تصبح مليونيرًا في ٣ أيام" "كيف تغير العالم بضغطة زر" (في الواقع إذا كنت في جزيرة معزلة فعلاً سأتمنى أن يكون معي كتالوج من "إيكيا" لتركيب قارب خشبي أستطيع أن أستقله لأهرب من الجزيرة).

    لكن هذا الكتاب مختلف فعلا

    دعوني أبدأ بالقول بأنني أكره كتب التنمية وتطوير الذات وكل ما دار في فلكها، وأنني أفضل قراءة كتاب طبخ حول طريقة إعداد "المحشي" على قراءة كتاب لأولئك المحتالين الذين يبيعون وهمًا للمغفلين. كما أن أسوأ كوابيسي هو أن أستيقظ يومًا في جزيرة معزولة وليس في حوزتي سوى كتاب من هذا النوع على شاكلة "كيف تصبح مليونيرًا في ٣ أيام" "كيف تغير العالم بضغطة زر" (في الواقع إذا كنت في جزيرة معزلة فعلاً سأتمنى أن يكون معي كتالوج من "إيكيا" لتركيب قارب خشبي أستطيع أن أستقله لأهرب من الجزيرة).

    لكن هذا الكتاب مختلف فعلاً، ليس لأنه مكتوب بطريقة بسيطة ومسلية فقط، ولكن لأنني استفدت منه كثيرًا على الصعيدين الشخصي والمهني.

    بدأت بقراءة الكتاب قبل ٦ سنوات عندما كنت طالبًا في أستراليا، وتركته بالخطأ خلفي، مع ما تركته من كتب الجامعة والمحاضرات، بعد عودتي إلى الإمارات. ولكن كان يكفيني الجزء البسيط الذي قرأته لأكون قادًرا على

    1. خلق أفكار مبتكرة

    2. إيصالها للآخرين

    3. ترسيخها في عقولهم

    4. دفعهم للإهتمام بها والعمل بها

    وهذه هي المحاور التي يرقص حولها الكتاب بكل اختصار.

    قمت خلال ال٣ سنوات الأخيرة بتأسيس ناديين للقراءة أصبحا في ما بعد أهم وأشهر نوادي القراءة الافتراضية في الإمارات، ومن ثم شاركت في تأسيس مبادرة ثقافية تجمع تحت مظلتها هذين الناديين ومشاريع أخرى. وفي كل مرة يسألني شخص ما كيف راودتني هذه الأفكار المبتكرة كنت أبتسم وأدعو في قلبي لمؤلفي الكتاب اللذين غيرا طريقتي في توليد الأفكار.

    لذلك كدت أطير فرحًا عندما وجدت الكتاب مترجمًا في إحدى المكتبات في أبوظبي، وسارعت لاقتنائه وقراءته من جديد.. ولكن بشكلٍ كامل هذه المرة!

    أيًا كنتم أعزائي القراء: موظفين حكوميين، أصحاب مشاريع، صحفيين، كُتّاب .. إلخ ستجدون هذا الكتاب مفيدًا وملهمًا لكم.

  • Sundeep

    : When marketing anything, keep these six concepts in mind if you want your message to shtick: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories; yes, my friends, that spells SUCCESs. If it sounds like too much work, these two concepts also work: Free, Sex (noooo, that’s not in the book…but it works I tell you!).

    Si. It’s a quick, fun read full of interesting anecdotes and examples that make the book’s message more *concrete* (a-hem). If

    : When marketing anything, keep these six concepts in mind if you want your message to shtick: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories; yes, my friends, that spells SUCCESs. If it sounds like too much work, these two concepts also work: Free, Sex (noooo, that’s not in the book…but it works I tell you!).

    Si. It’s a quick, fun read full of interesting anecdotes and examples that make the book’s message more *concrete* (a-hem). If you’re never going to pick it up, at least read a breakdown of the six principles on the book’s website.

    One(ish)-liners for each of the six principles:

    * Simplicity - boil it all down to the core message you want people to walk away with….the one thing they should know/do…the key takeaway….the essence of your point…the singular (okay, I’ll stop).

    * Unexpectedness - generate interest and curiosity by being counter-intuitive or using surprise/some other technique. Oh, and you should send me money (see? that’s called “surprise”).

    * Concreteness - explain ideas “in terms of human actions, in terms of sensory information”; people think in pictures, so paint a picture. For example, I’m sitting at my desk in my room typing this on my Dell laptop, sipping water and eating green curry chicken over rice. If you make it to the end of this post, I bet you’ll remember what I ate, but you won’t remember all six principles.

    * Credibility - it’s only what is said because of who says it; make sense? If you can’t get a spokesperson (Oprah), be vividly detailed; “sticky ideas have to carry their own credentials”.

    * Emotions - get people to care about your idea by evoking a feeling around your idea, and keep in mind that “we are wired to feel things for people, not for abstraction.” You make me happy by reading this blog post. (Don’t you feel happier knowing that, mom?)

    * Stories - wrap the idea with context and it’ll be remembered as associated with that context; sometimes, analogies work great here as they ground the idea in a story or context folks are familiar with (analogies also allow you to check off “simple” and “concrete”; for example, “my blog is the Pinto of the blogosphere” says a lot about my blog. And me, unfortunately.)

    Key takeaways:

    * Think about what YOU would respond to if YOU were your target audience (make sense?). First this means understanding the frame of mind/perspective of your target audience (note: this is HARD). Then, it’s asking questions like “what would make me take notice?” Throw off what the authors affectionately refer to as the “Curse of Knowledge” (corny, but true) and go from there. How does your target audience views the world? What’s important to them? (Which raises some good questions…who are you people? And what’s important to you?)

    * Make ideas interesting in some way/shape/form. Sounds incredibly obvious but it’s in fact hard to do (think of all the crap advertising you see these days…clearly, if it were interesting it wouldn’t be crap…I’ll bet you had a hard time remembering explicit crap ads precisely because they were crap). Playing into people’s curiosity can be a powerful way to make things interesting (guess what color boxers I’m wearing).

    * When pitching something, emphasize benefits, not features; people want to know what’s in it for them (self-interest), or how what you’re offering supports something they believe in (identity). If you can nail both, you’ve got a winner (this whole “organic” craze, for example).

    * Final excerpt from the book. “For an idea to stick, for it to be useful and lasting, it’s got to make the audience:

    1. Pay attention

    2. Understand and remember it

    3. Agree/Believe

    4. Care

    5. Be able to act on it”

    6. Think free. Or sex. Or both.

    Okay, without looking, what are the six principles? And what did I eat? And how much money are you sending me?

  • مشاري الإبراهيم

    Great book on how to make the core message you want to deliver remembered. How to formulate it so that it 'sticks' in the minds of the listeners.

    The core idea is that: in order for a message to be 'sticky' it has to combine these 6 characteristics: 1) Simple 2) Unexpected 3)Credible 4) Concrete 5)emotional 6)Story

    SUCCES(without the extra 'S' spelling success)

    The authors tell very engaging stories on each of their success factors.I think this is a great book for consultants. One of their main jo

    Great book on how to make the core message you want to deliver remembered. How to formulate it so that it 'sticks' in the minds of the listeners.

    The core idea is that: in order for a message to be 'sticky' it has to combine these 6 characteristics: 1) Simple 2) Unexpected 3)Credible 4) Concrete 5)emotional 6)Story

    SUCCES(without the extra 'S' spelling success)

    The authors tell very engaging stories on each of their success factors.I think this is a great book for consultants. One of their main jobs is to communicate ideas, so this is integral.

  • Mark Dickson

    Perhaps it was because this book came highly recommended from a reliable source, but I was greatly disappointed. This book was a redundant snooze. The ultimate test, I suppose, is whether the ideas from this book do, in fact, stick. It suffices to say that "enjoyability" is NOT on the list of what makes an idea stick.

    It's quite clear that the authors are doing their utmost to follow their own advice. That this makes the book almost unreadably repetitive is possibly an argument against the book'

    Perhaps it was because this book came highly recommended from a reliable source, but I was greatly disappointed. This book was a redundant snooze. The ultimate test, I suppose, is whether the ideas from this book do, in fact, stick. It suffices to say that "enjoyability" is NOT on the list of what makes an idea stick.

    It's quite clear that the authors are doing their utmost to follow their own advice. That this makes the book almost unreadably repetitive is possibly an argument against the book's worth. On the other hand, if the ideas in the book stay with you, then their premise that beating you over the skull with a blunt object is the best way to make ideas stick may be both accurate and demonstrable.

    Don't get me wrong. I wanted to like this book. It just read so much like a boring textbook for college freshmen that it was often hard to stomach.

    Of course, this could just be a mismatched audience gripe. If you're a clueless corporate advertising wannabe, this book will probably be right up your alley. Or if you're teaching a course on advertising or communication, your students might get something out of it.

    If you're actually into what makes ideas stick, why not pick something a little more rigorous, perhaps on memetics. I recommend Susan Blackmore's "Meme Machines" or Richard Brodie's "Virus of the Mind". For the more philosophically inclined, Dan Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" might also be a lot of fun.

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