Made to Stick - Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Made to Stick - Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Discover the 6 main attributes that make an idea work and understand why some stick and others don't!

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We don't need it all the time, but isn't it great when your idea is accepted by people around you?

But how to do it well? How to get people's attention?

Admittedly, there is no magic formula, but after many years of study and observation, Chip and Dan developed a method. Through six steps you can also improve your resourcefulness.

In this book, filled with examples that explain the power of how we announce our ideas, you will learn the six qualities of an idea that sticks. Are you ready to learn and impact more people? Follow our summary of the book "Made to Stick"!

About the book "Made to Stick"

Originally titled "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come to Unstuck", published in 2007, the book has 257 pages. It is divided into six chapters, plus an introduction and a conclusion.

Chip and Dan Heath discuss each of the six basic steps to make your idea work:

  1. Simplicity;
  2. Surprise;
  3. Concreteness;
  4. Credibility;
  5. Feelings;
  6. Reports.

To make understanding easier, we have examples of ideas that fail and come forward at all times.

About the authors Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Chip Heath is a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University. He has also taught courses in negotiation, international strategy, and social entrepreneurship.

Dan Heath is the co-founder of Thinkwell, an innovative college textbook publisher, a consultant at Duke Corporate Education and along with his brother, author of several books.

From contact with four of the most beloved and effective teachers in the US, Dan has noticed great similarities in his methodologies. Chip has always been interested in finding out why some false ideas spread, like the legend that we only use 10% of the brain.

Realizing that they were working on the same subject matter, they wrote this book that explains how and why some ideas stick.

To whom is this book indicated?

Not just for business leaders or managers, but also for anyone who wants to convey an idea and needs others to understand and keep what is going on.

Whether in personal or professional life, we always need to persuade people to come up with our ideas so they can be heard. This is precisely what this book explains to us how to do it effectively.

Main ideas of the book "Made to Stick"

  • Sticking ideas means enunciating them in a way that truly reaches the recipient of the message;
  • This requires transforming the way we organize and spread our ideas;
  • There is no right formula for gluing ideas, but they have common traits;
  • The book teaches how to produce creative ideas by understanding the six principles;
  • Prioritizing the essence of the message is critical;
  • Be aware of the stories you hear! They may contain new ideas;
  • Complex ideas can be organized and arranged correctly for better understanding.

So, let's start to understand the principles and try to apply them day by day?

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[Book Summary] Made to Stick - Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Overview: Introduction

A survey-based on 200 award-winning advertisements indicated that they fit some parameters.

Testing them by asking non-locals to use them to create advertisements for three products proved to be 50% more effective than when they created without the support of the methods.

It is these methods, explained and exemplified, that will be presented during the chapters. Let's together transform the way we communicate!

Overview: Simplicity

For a message to stick, it is critical that it be simple and compact! This makes it easy to memorize. For this, you must first find the essence of what you want to go through.

A good example is newspaper leads. They must communicate the most important point of what is being reported, thus capturing the reader's attention. What is the essence of the message? Prioritize it!

  • Most important information should be stated first;
  • Ideas should be compact enough to stick to and meaningful enough to remember;
  • Use analogies! Make comparisons with concrete things that already exist in the memory of your audience;
  • So you can trade something hard for something easy to think about.

Overview: Surprise

The surprise factor is linked to a pattern break. Unexpectedly, new ideas often attract people's attention.

We have a logic that guides our expectations. The surprise comes when this guessing mode, faced with information, fails. Hence our attention is captured.

But beware: the element of surprise of the idea must be related to the essence of the message, as seen in the previous overview.

Movie scripts often create knowledge gaps, that is, they present some information, but they leave questions in the air. The resolution of these mysteries attracts the audience, to the point that sometimes we finish watching a movie even if it is bad.

Overview: Concreteness

Imagine teaching a three-year-old what 3 + 2 is by just telling the result. Now imagine using stuffed animals. This is concreteness.

  • Concreteness is the opposite of abstraction;
  • From a boundary, our brain has a focus area to work on;
  • Teaching something on a concrete foundation makes it easier to understand;
  • Examples should represent our ideas.

It's like when US President Kennedy, at the end of a speech, posed a concrete and surprising yet possible challenge: by the end of the decade, they would send a man to the moon and he would return to earth saved.

Overview: Credibility

What makes people believe in ideas? We know that the fact that a famous person we like or a renowned expert supports some product or idea makes them appealing. But when are we not famous?

The authors bring us some tips that help us to give credibility to ideas, mainly through honesty:

  • The credibility of anti-authorities, ie real people who fit the idea or example perfectly;
  • Clear details that support the essential idea;
  • Statistics that illustrate a relationship, a comparison of the idea. Try bringing it to objects (remember the concreteness?);
  • Applying the Sinatra Test: If you have done something "X", you are able to do something "Y" related to "X". Testimonials from former clients and previous experiences are examples;
  • Testable credentials by the message recipient itself generate credibility.

Overview: Feelings

How to make them relate to our ideas? For people to feel touched, they need to care. In this case, the feeling, the emotions, are what inspire action.

  • We need to explore the things that people care about;
  • Valuing personal interests is away, after all, people care about themselves;
  • Another way is the image people have about themselves or the group to which they belong;
  • Highlight the advantages of an idea! How they will change something, of course;
  • To do this, ask yourself "Why?" More than once. This makes it easier to understand the core values and principles of your idea.

Overview: Reports

The last method that the authors present to us are the reports, that is, examples based on stories.

Just as credibility leads people to believe and feelings to care, reports lead people to act. After all, good stories bring inspiration, which guides action.

Stories work as mental simulations, which are also a way of experiencing something.

Overview: Conclusion - What Sticks

The methods seen constitute a SUCCESS checklist. Test your ideas on the concepts of simplicity, surprise, concreteness, credibility, feelings, and reports.

It does not need to meet all of these requirements, however, as long as you follow some of these standards, your chances of success increase.

After all, the goals are:

  1. Attract attention;
  2. Be understood and remembered;
  3. Make others agree and believe;
  4. And consequently, they care;
  5. From there, buy and act on the idea.

What do other authors say about it?

The author Austin Kleon, in "Steal Like an Artist. 10 Tips on Creativity" tells how you can do something authentic based on the ideas of those who inspire you. You can stimulate your creativity by stepping out of your comfort zone and surrounding yourself with people who support and add to your creative process.

Already in "Disrupt You!" Jay Samit says that innovative ideas have the power to transform the world and disrupt the system. For you to unleash a disruptive profile, you need to plan your goals and be susceptible to both internal and external changes.

Finally, Ed Catmull, author of "Creativity Inc.", gives leaders advice: Always give people more preference than ideas, because creative people create good ideas, but good ideas can be destroyed by bad teams.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

Once you understand what the methods mean, it becomes easier to apply them to our ideas. You can start by using some of the tips we saw!

  • Be aware of the stories of your daily life. After all, they can represent something more. Real examples often stimulate people;
  • Already have an idea and would like to pass it on? Find your essence. Simplicity breeds greater understanding!
  • Use hard data that people can imagine and identify with;
  • Bet on the credibility of your idea, based on honesty;
  • Think beyond common sense by looking at the pattern of how things work so that you can break them.

Did you like this summary of the book "Made to Stick"?

You may have realized that these concepts are nothing out of this world. Are you ready to put them into practice? Tell us if that forgotten idea has been rekindled!

And if you want to stay on top of all the book content, get the full edition now available for purchase from the Amazon store:

Book Made to Stick