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Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come Unstuck

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  38,856 Ratings  ·  1,709 Reviews
What is that makes urban myths so persistent but many everyday truths so eminently forgettable? How do newspapers set about ensuring that their headlines make you want to read on? And why do we remember complicated stories but not complicated facts? In the course of over ten years of study, Chip and Dan Heath have established what it is that determines whether particular i ...more
Paperback, 323 pages
Published February 7th 2008 by Arrow (first published December 18th 2006)
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Jan 22, 2009 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Blink 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 ...more
Feb 03, 2008 Sundeep rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sundeep by: kareem
from my blog,

Summary: 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!).

Recommended? Si. It’s a quick, fun read full of interesting anecdotes and examples that make the book’s message more *concrete* (a-hem). If
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'
Lili Manolache
Apr 08, 2013 Lili Manolache rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath Chow, is about how to make your ideas memorable; be it promoting a product / project, being a professional, forwarding a company's strategy or lessons to students. Everything revolves around the SUCCESS methodology. For an idea to stick, for it to be useful and lasting, it's got to make the audience:

Pay attention - Unexpected
Understand and remember it - Concrete
Agree/Believe - Credible
Care - Emotional
Be a
Apr 05, 2014 Kevan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Update #2: Yep. Still recommending it. I

Update #1, at the halfway point: five stars already.

I want to read this book twice, at least. This will directly change how I write, present, think, create and make things. I know I need to keep experimenting to make my communication more memorable, more meaningful, and I'll be playing with many of the techniques described here.

A few key points that I want to experiment with in my own work:

"If you've asked somebody to remember three things, you've asked
Aug 22, 2009 Anya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I have enough money to buy books again, I'm planning to build a marketing and communications library. It will consist of three books: "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell, "Influence" by Robert Cialdini, and this book, which is maybe the one of the three that knocked me on my butt most often as I was reading it.

The (adorable!) Heath brothers (check out their nerdy-preppy hottitude on the back cover!) are Chip, a Stanford business professor, and Dan, an education and new media consultant
Apr 18, 2009 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some business books are written to promote consulting gigs. This is one such book. You can usually tell when the summary chapter just takes the table of contents and re-arranges it a little. I picked this up because one of the authors is the founder of an innovative website used extensively by my

There is nothing inherently wrong with this book. The ideas are coherent, presented well, and made relatively easy to digest (following the their own enunciated principle of the "p
Farnoosh Brock
A stretch for a 4 star but it was a reasonably good attempt at teaching us why some ideas stick. It just lacked the details and practical depth I was hoping to learn.

The Amazon reviews of this book ascribe the authors' inspiration to Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point", a book I enjoyed immensely with the journeys into the human psyche - memory, emotion, decision, and behavior. I was sorely disappointed that I did not find any such parallels in "Made to Stick". Nonetheless, I think the author
mahdi nasseri
Oct 08, 2014 mahdi nasseri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
این کتاب عالی است. به نظرم به تمام معنا مطالعه آن برای همه نیاز است. نه تنها شما را در جایگاه شغلی و اجتماعی قدرتمند می کنه بلکه بهتون کمک می کنه تا بسیاری از باورها، رویدادها و ایده هایی رو که در محیط اطرافمون باهاش مواجه می شیم رو بتونیم به درستی تحلیل کنیم و بشناسیم.
خوندن این کتاب رو به همه توصیه می کنم.
ترجمه عالی این کتاب در کنار چاپ بسیار با کیفیت خوندن این کتاب رو لذت بخش تر کرده.
Loy Machedo
Jan 21, 2012 Loy Machedo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Remember the subway advertisement? The guy who lost over 200 pounds eating only the vegetarian sub?

What about proverbs like “A bird in hand is worth two in a bush” or what comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “Sour Grapes”?

What about John F. Kennedy’s Man on the Moon vision?

Why is it we remember Urban legends like the Kentucky Fried Rat, Coco Cola dissolving tooth, Kidney thieves or the fact that you can see the Great Wall of China from space?

Welcome to a book that is the cross breed betw
Sajad Behjati
Jun 11, 2015 Sajad Behjati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب های زیادی در زمینه اثربخشی محتوا خوندم و اینکه چطور محتوایی ارایه کنیم که ماندگار و تاثیر گذار باشد، اما برای من ایده عالی مستدام کتابی متفاوت و خاص بود که با مثال های متعدد و شیوه ای آسان این موضوع را شرح داده است...

محتواهایی که کار زیادی برده است، اما به درستی ارایه نمی شوند، اساتید دانشگاهی که سرشار از دانش هستند، اما نمیتوانند ارایه کنند و خیلی مثال های دیگه ای که لزوم مطالعه این کتاب و استفاده از تکنیک های آنرا نشان میدهد .
Andreas Ernst
The basic concept outlined in this book is helpful and I loved the very beginning with its surprising twist. After a couple of chapters however I think the books looses a bit of spicyness.
Apr 13, 2011 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a writer and speaker, I love stories. I love to tell them, to write them, and I love to read them. I also like to read about stories, what makes them work, how they excite our imagination, how we use them to enrich our communications. Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive And Others Die is about all that and more.

Good salespeople, advertisers, marketers, PR professionals, even managers wanting to motivate their employees and entrepreneurs needing to excite their investors can make good use o
Sep 17, 2011 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, library, audio
This was the first audiobook I have ever listened to in its entirity, and I listened to it in my car while commuting to/from work for the last two weeks. First, I had to admit, I had a very hard time getting used to *listening* to a book. I also found my self rewinding and listening to parts again, not because I was interested in what was being said, but mostly because I was busy driving and missed what was being said. I'm going to try another few audiobooks before I give up, but I'm not sure no ...more
Douglas Knupp
Mar 30, 2008 Douglas Knupp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone whi is in the business of communicating ideas in a way that they will be remembered
MADE TO STICK – Chip and Dan Heath
Simple – Unexpected – Concrete – Contextual – Emotional – Stories

Step-by-directions, how to achieve stickiness

“Those are the six principles of successful ideas. To summarize, here’s our checklist for creating a successful idea: a Simple Unexpected Concrete Credentialed Emotional Story. A clever observer will note that this sentence can be compacted into the acronym SUCCESs. This is sheer coincidence, of course. (Okay, we admit, SUCCESs is a little corny. W
Apr 05, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's assume that since I get invited back to keynote at the same conferences, I'm a more-than-decent speaker. And, that since a couple of the books I've written are bestsellers, I must make them interesting to readers. Why mention this? Because my copy of Made to Stick is filled with sticky notes that are covered with ideas for upcoming speeches and writings. This book motivates application of the ideas it contains.

Yes, I've used several of the core techniques described in the book for years--
Aug 15, 2007 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a business person, teacher, or just someone trying to get your idea across, this is a great book to read!

Written by brothers Chip and Dan Heath, one a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford, the other an education consultant and former researcher at Harvard Business School. They look at the key aspects of what makes some ideas and stories stick in people's minds. They boil things down to 6 key principles of simplicity that make things stick in people's memories.

Some of the c
Zaki Imtiaz
Oct 24, 2015 Zaki Imtiaz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a marketer and a game developer I have always wondered about how to make people care about my idea. How can I make someone to buy my product and listen to my proposals. This book has helped me a lot in shaping my thoughts, towards making ideas stick. End result is that I have hundreds of working examples from this book as well as Edward De Bonu's book "Think before its too late" to make things work.

So whenever you are going to work on an idea, just think about SUCCESs.

S: Is your idea simple?
Rick Lee James
Jul 09, 2015 Rick Lee James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really great book, especially if you communicate for a living. The 6 principles that make an idea stick ( 1.) Simplicity, 2.) Unexpectedness, 3.) Concreteness, 4.) Credibility, 5.) Emotions, 6.) Stories ) make up the simple acronym, SUCCESS. This book elaborates on these principles while at the same time adhering to them. If you're a public speaker, teacher, pastor, manager, or even a parent trying to teach ideas to your children then I think you will find this book beneficial.
Jun 08, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I return to communications, I thought I'd brush up with this modern marketing classic.
Mar 15, 2016 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has been in my to-read section for probably 7 years now and I was finally able to find the audio book and take a listen.

Overall, wanted to say great book and provided it with a 5 start rating.

Some of the key concepts that resonated with me include:

1) Advertising school story. For the Entrepreneur, it's a tough concept to teach on how to capture readers attention with headlines or advertisements. The story of Jerrod from Subway and how it became a phenomenon is awesome. Having run several
Key Questions: How do you create the SUCCESS criteria for Groups? At EastLake they are the “catch all” for all the ministries and programs we don’t run!
1. Simple:
a. Find the “core” of your message
b. Write using the “lead” approach
c. Force prioritization – Don’t allow for uncertainty! (How do you do this when you offer choice?)
d. Groups – Feature Creep
e. Using schemes – think about non-church ones and use those!
2. Unexpected:
a. Value in sequencing information
b. Use curiosity to your advantage
Tam Tran-The
Mar 17, 2016 Tam Tran-The rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

I find myself taking a lot of notes while reading this book since it is filled with fascinating insights. There are myriad books in the market talking about how to speak effectively and how to control your body language while speaking, but at the same time, being a charismatic speaker is not necessarily synonymous with being an inspirational messenger. “Made to Stick” has done a decent job in teaching how to design a message that is “understand
Christine Nolfi
Jan 18, 2013 Christine Nolfi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chock-full of fascinating ways to ensure your ideas do stick. A great marketing tool and so much more. I wish I'd read this book when my kids were teenagers. Many of the lessons on making ideas memorable can also aid parents.
Troy Blackford
Nov 01, 2015 Troy Blackford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent book about why some ideas seem to be easier to remember and have an easier time spreading, delving into the psychology of virality. It's a little dated, as when it discusses the 'Jared' Subway ad campaign. Nowadays, it's impossible to hear anyone saying good things about that creepy bastard without getting the willies. But that's not the Heaths' fault. This is a well-written, informative book that is funny at times, but always insightful. I know I sound like a broken record ...more
Chris Leroux
Jan 21, 2016 Chris Leroux rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some fascinating and well articulated observations here for anyone interested in marketing and creativity. Some of their points, particularly regarding self-interest and belief structures, are eerily prescient in today's social media obsessed culture.

"Particularly in the realm of politics, tinkering with statistics provides lucrative employment for untold numbers of issue advocates. Ethically challenged people with lots of analytical smarts can, with enough contortions, make almost an
Jun 14, 2015 Glen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very engaging book that traces the art of articulation around 6 predominant characteristics: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotional and story or narrative.

While the audience and anecdotes are often from advertising or the corporate world, it's focus is beneficial to a wider audience. Educators, spiritual leaders and those working in social movements can benefit greatly from this exploration of messaging. What I see as the strengths of the book are: 1) it does not pand
Alaeddin Hallak
This is unlike any other communication book you will ever read.

Without a doubt one of the most profound books I've read. It jolted me out of old ways of thinking about delivering any piece of information or motivating people towards a worthy idea. I realized how wrong I've been doing it and I can now understand why specific situations in the past year could have gone better if I employed some of the techniques in this book to communicate my ideas better.

The key message in this book is that every
Nelson Zagalo
The message inside the book is relevant however the book is written as just another regular business/marketeer oriented book, with some insights, anecdotes and a lot of superficial talk. Anyhow, if you work with anything that needs to grab people attention, that depends on designing engaging universal activities/situations, it could help if you're starting.

The central argument is stated in the simple mnemonic “SUCCESs” which stands for - Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories
Chad Warner
May 01, 2014 Chad Warner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: Daniel Pink
An informative and entertaining guide to making ideas “sticky” (interesting and memorable). It presents six principles and explains them with plenty of specific examples and comparisons of “sticky” and “non-sticky” ideas. Its lessons are applicable whether your ideas will be used in marketing and advertising a business or in spreading the mission of a nonprofit.

One of the themes of the book is overcoming the “curse of knowledge,” which is when you’re so familiar with your mission/product/service
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Dan Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University's CASE center.
Dan has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and a B.A. from the Plan II Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin.

He co-wrote a book titled Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard with his brother Chip Heath.
More about Dan Heath...

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“The most basic way to get someone's attention is this: Break a pattern.” 54 likes
“Stephen Covey, in his book The 8th Habit, decribes a poll of 23,000 employees drawn from a number of companies and industries. He reports the poll's findings:

* Only 37 percent said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why
* Only one in five was enthusiastic about their team's and their organization's goals
* Only one in five said they had a clear "line of sight" between their tasks and their team's and organization's goals
* Only 15 percent felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals
* Only 20 percent fully trusted the organization they work for

Then, Covey superimposes a very human metaphor over the statistics. He says, "If, say, a soccer team had these same scores, only 4 of the 11 players on the field would know which goal is theirs. Only 2 of the 11 would care. Only 2 of the 11 would know what position they play and know exactly what they are supposed to do. And all but 2 players would, in some way, be competing against their own team members rather than the opponent.”
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