Book Review: Made to Stick

Made to Stick
Author: Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Genre: Nonfiction Business
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: December 18, 2006
Pages: 291
Format Read: audiobook
Standalone or series: standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: May 5, 2019

Goodreads Description: 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.

My Review: I work in the medical field and one of the researchers recommended this book to me after we had taken some required work trainings on communication and excellence. I unfortunately did not get a lot out of those work trainings, but I did get much more out of Made to Stick and immediately recommended it to my husband who is a university professor.

The authors focused on expanding on their six principles to making ideas “stick”:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotions
  6. Stories

One of the most helpful tips when you are trying to share information or convince someone of an idea is to not stray too far from the core point. I especially enjoyed when the authors stated that just because you have a “sea of information”, you do not have to share it. I have definitely experienced sitting in classes or book clubs, where conversations start moving further and further from the original point that you forget where the conversation began and why.

I like how the authors used real work examples of companies and ideas to confirm their basic principles. It really helps you grasp the importance of these principles and why they will work.

This was an interesting and insightful read. As mentioned, I have already recommended it and think that it is most helpful for entrepreneurs, professors, and anyone who needs to share and communicate ideas on a regular basis.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


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