Made To Stick - Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath, Dan Heath


Chip Heath, Dan Heath

  Innovation, Growth, Startup

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Step by step process of making ideas sticky


The author points out 3 characteristics of the idea that stick. They should be :

  1. Understandable
  2. Memorable
  3. Effective in altering thoughts and behaviour


Here are the 6 principles of stickiness:

1. Simplicity

  • This is the key to finding your core idea. Aiming for simplicity means going to the bottom of it to find the single most important thing.
  • Simple ideas can be effective in changing behaviour. It is not about cutting things short but rather about prioritization.
  • Simple ideas are a product of core and compact. 


2. Unexpected:

  • Mess with people's expectations. Keep them interested for a longer period.

Ask 2 questions:

  1. How to get people's attention
  2. How to keep it


Getting Attention-

Our brains are designed to notice changes around us. So the easiest way to get someone's attention is to break a pattern by doing something new.

The steps are as follows:

  • Determine the core message you want to communicate.
  • Ask yourself: what is unusual about my message? what are the unexpected elements? 
  • Communicate this message in a manner that breaks the expectations of the audience. Make use of the element of surprise.

Keeping Attention:

  • Make use of mystery. What happens after? How will it happen? These thoughts keep the people interested.
  • Create gaps in their knowledge. This will help create curiosity.


3. Concrete:

  • Making an idea abstract makes it harder to understand and remember it. Moreover, abstract things can have multiple interpretations that can lead to confusion.
  • Being able to examine something with your senses means it is concrete. Concreteness is specific people doing specific things.
  • Concreteness makes it easier to communicate and understand new ideas and concepts.


4. Credible:

  • We believe a message because our parents or peers believe that. Our experiences lead us to believe some things and reject others. Because we trust them as authorities.
  • Trying to persuade a skeptical audience is not an easy task, but the best way to do it is to focus on the honesty and trustworthiness of or message and its sources.
  • Make use of details and statistical data. This acts as a great way to establish expertise and trustworthiness in the mind of the audience.


5. Emotional:

  • We don't need to create emotion in people out of thin air. In fact, many ideas produce emotions by associating their message with emotions that already exist. 
  • The key is to create an association between something they don't care about now with something they already do care about.
  • Another way is to appeal to their self-interests. 


6. Stories

  • Stories are an effective teaching tool. They draw the illustration of things that people didn't realize earlier. 
  • Simulating past events can be much more effective than simulating future scenarios.

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