What is that makes urban myths so persistent but many everyday truths so eminently forgettable? How do newspapers set about ensuring that their headlines make you want to read on? And why do we remember complicated stories but not complicated facts?
In the course of over ten years of study, Chip and Dan Heath have established what it is that determines whether particular ideas or stories stick in our minds or not, and Made to Stick is the fascinating outcome of their painstaking research. Packed full of case histories and thought-provoking anecdotes, it shows, among other things, how one Australian scientist convinced the world he'd discovered the cause of stomach ulcers by drinking a glass filled with bacteria, how a gifted sports reporter got people to watch a football match by showing them the outside of the stadium, and how high-concept pitches such as ' Jaws on a spaceship' ( Alien ) and ' Die Hard on a bus' ( Speed ) convince movie executives to invest vast sums of money in a project on the basis of almost no information.
Entertaining and informative by turns, this is a fascinating and multi-faceted account of a key area of human behaviour. At the same time, by showing how we can all use such cleverly devised strategies as the 'Velcro Theory of Memory' and 'curiosity gaps', it offers superbly practical insights, setting out principles we all can adopt to make sure that we get our ideas across effectively.
"Their analysis is peppered with memorable stories, images and facts ... This book is a gift to anyone who needs to get a message across and make it stick" New Statesman
Chip Heath is a Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. His research examines why certain ideas - ranging from urban legends to folk medical cures, from Chicken Soup for the Soul stories to business strategy myths - survive and prosper in the social marketplace of ideas. His research has appeared in a variety of academic journals, and popular accounts of his research have appeared in Scientific American, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Psychology Today, and Vanity Fair. He lives in Los Gatos, California. Dan Heath is a consultant at Duke Corporate Education, one of the world's top providers of executive education. Prior to joining Duke, he was a researcher at Harvard Business School, writing 10 cases on entrepreneurship that are used in business school programmes. Heath is also the co-founder of Thinkwell, a publishing company dedicated to creating high-quality, multimedia university textbooks. Dan has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.