Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

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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 circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas-entrepreneurs, teachers, politicians, and journalists-struggle to make them "stick."

In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating curiosity gaps. Along the way, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds-from the infamous "kidney theft ring" hoax to a coach's lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony-draw their power from the same six traits.

Made to Stick will transform the way you communicate. It's a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures): the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of the Mother Teresa Effect; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice.

Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas-and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.
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 Stick, 
Switch, 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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  • I I N T R O D U C T I O N


    A friend of a friend of ours is a frequent business traveler. Let's call him Dave. Dave was recently in Atlantic City for an important meeting with clients. Afterward, he had some time to kill before his flight, so he went to a local bar for a drink.
    He'd just finished one drink when an attractive woman approached and asked if she could buy him another. He was surprised but flattered. Sure, he said. The woman walked to the bar and brought back two more drinks-one for her and one for him. He thanked her and took a sip. And that was the last thing he remembered.
    Rather, that was the last thing he remembered until he woke up, disoriented, lying in a hotel bathtub, his body submerged in ice.
    He looked around frantically, trying to figure out where he was and how he got there. Then he spotted the note: don't move. call 911.
    A cell phone rested on a small table beside the bathtub. He picked it up and called 911, his fingers numb and clumsy from the ice. The operator seemed oddly familiar with his situation. She said, "Sir, I want you to reach behind you, slowly and carefully. Is there a tube protruding from your lower back?"
    Anxious, he felt around behind him. Sure enough, there was a tube.
    The operator said, "Sir, don't panic, but one of your kidneys has been harvested. There's a ring of organ thieves operating in this city, and they got to you. Paramedics are on their way. Don't move until they arrive."

    You've just read one of the most successful urban legends of the past fifteen years. The first clue is the classic urban-legend opening: "A friend of a friend . . ." Have you ever noticed that our friends' friends have much more interesting lives than our friends themselves?
    You've probably heard the Kidney Heist tale before. There are hundreds of versions in circulation, and all of them share a core of three elements: (1) the drugged drink, (2) the ice-filled bathtub, and (3) the kidney-theft punch line. One version features a married man who receives the drugged drink from a prostitute he has invited to his room in Las Vegas. It's a morality play with kidneys.
    Imagine that you closed the book right now, took an hourlong break, then called a friend and told the story, without rereading it. Chances are you could tell it almost perfectly. You might forget that the traveler was in Atlantic City for "an important meeting with clients"-who cares about that? But you'd remember all the important stuff.
    The Kidney Heist is a story that sticks. We understand it, we remember it, and we can retell it later. And if we believe it' s true, it might change our behavior permanently-at least in terms of accepting drinks from attractive strangers.
    Contrast the Kidney Heist story with this passage, drawn from a paper distributed by a nonprofit organization. "Comprehensive community building naturally lends itself to a return-on-investment rationale that can be modeled, drawing on existing practice," it begins, going on to argue that "[a] factor constraining the flow of resources to CCIs is that funders must often resort to targeting or categorical requirements in grant making to ensure accountability."
    Imagine that you closed the book right now and took an hourlong break. In fact, don't even take a break; just call up a friend and retell that passage without rereading it. Good luck.
    Is this a fair comparison-an urban legend to a cherry-picked bad passage? Of course not. But here's where things get interesting: Think of our two examples as two poles on a spectrum of memorability. Which sounds closer to the communications you encounter at work? If you're like most people, your workplace gravitates toward the nonprofit pole as though it were the North Star.
    Maybe this is perfectly natural; some ideas are inherently interesting and some are inherently uninteresting. A gang of organ thieves-inherently interesting! Nonprofit fina
  • Introduction What Sticks? 3(22) Kidney heist Movie popcorn Sticky = understandable, memorable, and effective in changing thought or behavior Halloween candy Six principles: SUCCESs The villain: Curse of Knowledge It's hard to be a tapper Creativity starts with templates Simple
    25(38) Commander's Intent THE low-fare airline Burying the lead and the inverted pyramid It's the economy, stupid Decision paralysis Clinic: Sun exposure Names, names, and names Simple = core + compact Proverbs The Palm Pilot wood block Using what's there The pomelo schema High concept: Jaws on a spaceship Generative analogies: Disney's ``cast members.'' Unexpected
    63(35) The successful flight safety announcement The surprise brow Gimmicky surprise and ``postdictability.'' Breaking the guessing machine ``The Nordie who. . .'' ``No school next Thursday.'' Clinic: Too much on foreign aid Saturn's rings Movie turning points Gap theory of curiosity Clinic: Fund-raising Priming the gap: NCAA football Pocketable radio Man on the moon Concrete
    98(32) Sour grapes Landscapes as eco-celebrities Teaching subtraction with less abstraction Soap-opera accounting Velcro theory of memory Brown eyes, blue eyes Engineers vs. manufacturers The Ferraris go to Disney World White things The leather computer Clinic: Oral rehydration therapy Hamburger Helper and Saddleback Sam Credible
    130(35) The Nobel-winning scientist no one believed Flesh-eating bananas Authority and antiauthority Pam Laffin, smoker Powerful details Jurors and the Darth Vader toothbrush The dancing seventy-three year old Statistics: Nuclear warheads as BBs The human-scale principle Officemates as a soccer team Clinic: Shark attack hysteria The Sinatra Test Transporting Bollywood movies Edible fabric Where's the beef Testable credentials The Emotional Tank Clinic: Our flawed intuition NBA rookie camp Emotional
    165(39) The Mother Teresa principle: If I look at the one, I will act Beating smoking with the Truth Semantic stretch and why unique isn't unique Reclaiming ``sportsmanship.'' Schlocky but masterful mail-order ads WIIFY. Cable television in Tempe Avoiding Maslow's basement Dining in Iraq The popcorn popper and political science Clinic: Why study algebra Don't mess with Texas Who cares about duo piano Creating empathy Stories
    204(34) The day the heart monitor lied Shop talk at Xerox Helpful and unhelpful visualizations Stories as flight simulators Clinic: Dealing with problem students Jared, the 425-pound fast-food dieter Spotting inspiring stories The Challenge Plot The Connection Plot The Creativity Plot Springboard stories at the World Bank: A health worker in Zambia How to make presenters angry with stories EPILOGUE WHAT STICKS
    238(15) Nice guys finish last Elementary, my dear Watson The power of spotting Curse of Knowledge again Pay attention, understand, believe, care, and act Sticky problems: symptoms and solutions John F. Kennedy versus Floyd Lee Making Ideas Stick: The Easy Reference Guide 253(6) Notes 259(18) Acknowledgments 277(4) Index 281
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Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 336
Erscheinungsdatum 01.01.2007
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-4000-6428-1
Verlag Random House US
Maße (L/B/H) 21/15/2.7 cm
Gewicht 462 g
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Fr. 42.90
Fr. 42.90
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