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Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Hardcover – 2 January 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,885 ratings

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Based on a class at Stanford taught by one of the authors, this book profiles how some ideas "stick" in our minds while the majority fall by the wayside. Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and compelling advertising make up much of the intrinsically interesting examples that the Heaths profile that qualify for "stickiness." This book explores what makes social epidemics "epidemic" and, as the Heaths cite from Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point (2000), defines the secret recipe that makes an idea viral. The principles of stickiness are examined--an unexpected outcome, lots of concrete details that we remember, emotion, simplicity, and credibility--all packaged in an easily told story format. Taking these five stickiness attributes, the book offers numerous examples of how these properties make up the stories we are all familiar with--the urban legend about kidney theft and the razor blades supposedly lurking in Halloween candy. Exercises, checklists, and other tools are sprinkled throughout the book to help the reader understand and test how stickiness can be applied to their ideas, whether they are teachers, parents, or CEOs. Gail Whitcomb
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Chip Heath is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, teaching courses on strategy and organizations. He has helped over 450 startups hone their business strategy and messages. He lives in Los Gatos, California. 
 
Dan Heath is a senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs fighting for social good. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.
 
Together, Chip and Dan have written three New York Times bestselling books: Made to StickSwitch, and Decisive. Their books have sold over two million copies worldwide and have been translated into thirty-three languages, including Thai, Arabic, and Lithuanian. Their most recent book is The Power of Moments.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Random House (2 January 2007)
  • Language: : English
  • Hardcover : 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1400064287
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1400064281
  • Item Weight : 440 g
  • Dimensions : 14.73 x 2.82 x 21.69 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,885 ratings

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Frankselbow
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but too much filler
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 August 2018
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Nick Michelioudakis
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review - for Educators
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 July 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Review - for Educators
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 July 2016
I believe this book should be compulsory reading for every educator. Indeed I will go a step further – I think it may well be more useful to us than any single book on teaching.
The book is about effective and persuasive communication. The Heath brothers start with the Q: ‘Why is it that some ideas are so memorable?’ A: Six key elements [SUCCES]: i) Simplicity (Keep it simple!) ii) Unexpectedness (Surprise = retention!) iii) Concreteness (Avoid abstract or ‘deep’ messages) iv) Credible (Is it believable?) v) Emotions (It is emotion, not reason that makes people act!) vi) Story (The most memorable messages are in the form of a story).
In analysing these elements they explain all kinds of interesting notions, such as ‘the curse of knowledge’ (p. 19). What would happen if you were to tap your finger to the rhythm of a well-known song without actually humming it? Would people be able to guess it? 50% of respondents said ‘Yes’. Incredibly, the actual number was 2.5%!! It is exactly the same when we try to communicate a message – we think others understand, but very often they don’t! (Moral: check that your students have really understood what you have told them or what they have to do. Get feedback as much as possible!)
Heath & Heath go on to stress the importance of ‘curiosity’ (pp. 84 – 87). This is the technique that soap operas, cinema trailers and some gifted presenters use to hook the readers/listeners’ interest. (Moral: Whether it is the contents of a text, or the lesson, it pays not to tell students everything up front. We can excite their curiosity even about mundane things.)
A surprising research finding on p. 89 is of great importance to us; Q: Which is better: consensus-building activities or ones encouraging heated debate? A: The latter! In a controlled study, 18% of students who had done a consensus-type activity chose to watch a short film about the topic, but the number rose to 45% among those who had engaged in a debate! (Moral: use more debates to get students worked up so they are motivated to find out more about the subject under discussion!)
The two brothers also give us a host of useful tips on how to make our presentations / articles interesting (which is of course of immense value for students / adult learners). Here are a few research-supported findings: a) avoid obscure language (p. 106) b) including details makes your argument more convincing (p. 139) c) ‘translate’ statistics down to the human scale (the human brain cannot make sense of huge numbers! – p. 144).
Above all however, remember to use stories. Human beings are wired for story. As somebody once so memorably put it: ‘Facts tell – stories sell!’
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C. Weldon
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read of the year
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 May 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 January 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone needs to read this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 September 2019
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