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Learn the key ideas of the book by Dan Heath , Chip Heath

Made to Stick

How to get great ideas to stick

Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath is the culmination of ten years of research on human behaviour, carried out for the purpose of identifying the factors that determine whether an idea, an urban legend, or an advertisement will be able to stand the test of time. Countless anecdotes and practical exercises that can be done in the comfort of your home will help you to explore what attributes an idea must have to make it strong, and the best communication strategies that you can use, to ensure that it is communicated effectively.

Made to Stick
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Finding the key strength in any idea, and communicating it in the best way possible

Are successful ideas inherently interesting, or are they specifically designed to be as such? From proverbs and idioms to advertisements that have remained in people's collective imagination for many years, what is it that has determined their ability to stick so firmly in people's minds?

Brothers Chip and Dan Heath have conducted years of research, and have managed to define the most important criteria with which to benchmark any idea, to ensure it is perfect, and destined to be a hit. There is no single one-size-fits-all formula, but rather a series of attributes that can be identified, which can indicate the best strategies to make the most of an idea. There are six key principles that the brothers have identified: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories, which can be summarised with the acronym SUCCESs

These concepts should also be applied when communicating with others, as they will help you to make the person standing in front of you pay attention, understand and remember, believe you and agree with you, care about what you are saying, and push them to act.

However, many times, brilliant ideas fail to get proper recognition - why? There are a variety of reasons, but the most insidious, as well as the most easily controlled, is the psychological process that the authors call "the Curse of Knowledge", a concept that can be explained by a simple experiment conducted in the 90s. A group of people were divided into two camps, one with the role of taking it in turns to choose a song and tap out a melody with their fingers on a table, and the other with the role of listening and trying to guess the song in question. Despite the apparent simplicity of the test, and the fact that the first group believed that they were faithfully transmitting at least 50% of the songs in mind, the listeners were only able to recognise 3 songs out of 120.

People who have a certain level of knowledge on a specific topic have difficulty reversing roles, and putting themselves in the shoes of those who do not have that familiarity with the subject, preventing them from successfully sharing that knowledge with others. This is where the first of the five criteria comes into play: to make an idea strong and powerful you need simplicity. New concepts do not often lead to success; those that do, already exist, you just have to tap into them.


The key ideas of "Made to Stick"

Finding the key strength in any idea, and communicating it in the best way possible
The first step to making an idea successful: identifying where its fundamental value lies
Simplicity: the right way to communicate the core values of an idea
How to capture people's attention by leveraging unpredictability
Concrete ideas: a universal language that forms long-lasting connections
The importance of credibility, and the types of sources that are considered to be valid and to reinforce an idea
The two types of emotional motivation that lead people to action: self-interest and group interest
The importance of stories
Learning to find the right story for every occasion
Take-home message

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