Andromeda M31's Reviews > Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Made to Stick by Chip Heath
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Mar 03, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction

Made to Stick read like a sort of hip text book, which I guess it is. It breaks down it's 6 concepts of what makes ideas stick into six chapters: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story. And yes, I remembered them by the acronym SUCCESs. Several examples in each chapter highlight the core concept clearly, and often humorously. The concepts feel obvious, but as demonstrated in Made to Stick using several psychological experiments and failed marketing campaigns as proof, they are often overlooked. Several times due to the so-called Curse of Knowledge: we are so familiar with our idea, we have a hard time phrasing it so others will understand or care.

As an engineer, I usually assume that the ideas that stick are the ones that work, the ones that are the most rational, the ones that are BETTER, but the book adjusted my opinion of the virus like idea. I really appreciated the wide breadth of the examples, veering from folklore, marketing, urban legends, and scientific theory and research (the one about the researcher who could not find credibility from his less than stellar academic institution is very humbling).

That said I don't really know if a whole book devoted to this concept is necessary, you might be able to grasp the core concepts from an hour long presentation (but would it stick as well?).

I borrowed the book from the library and noticed how padded the book felt. It really wants to be a text book, from the Do It Yourself examples in each chapter, notes, acknowledgements, and bizarrely large index. I am quite glad I read it tho, and will hopefully be able to remember the concepts when I'm drawing up my next presentation.
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