Length: 291 pages
Audiobook Length: 8 hours and 37 minutes
First Published: 2007
Why do some ideas stick – no matter how true – while others go in one ear and out the other? Chip and Dan Heath break down the elements that made ideas memorable and teach you how to create stickier messaging. Similar to Malcolm Gladwell or Charles Duhigg, the Heath brothers use interesting anecdotes to illustrate the concepts of stickiness. Made to Stick is informative and entertaining at the same time, but I’m not sure how useful it will be in practical application.
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.
Quotes from Made to Stick
When you say three things, you say nothing.
The first problem of communication is getting people’s attention.
The most basic way to get someone’s attention is this: Break a pattern.
To make our communications more effective, we need to shift our thinking from “What information do I need to convey?” to “What questions do I want my audience to ask?
People tend to overuse any idea or concept that delivers an emotional kick.
About Chip Heath
Chip Heath is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business and the co-author (with his brother, Dan) of four books: The Power of Moments, Decisive, Switch, and Made to Stick. Visit the author’s website →
About Dan Heath
Dan Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University and co-founder of the publishing company Thinkwell. He is the author of Upstream and the co-author (with his brother, Chip) of four books: The Power of Moments, Decisive, Switch, and Made to Stick. He currently lives in Durham, North Carolina. Visit the author’s website →