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Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

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 public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas—business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others—struggle to make their ideas "stick."

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In "Made to Stick", accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers 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."

In this indispensable guide, 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 "is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas. 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.

    • Kidney heist.
    • Movie popcorn.
    • Sticky = understandable, memorable, and effective in changing thought or behavior.
    • Halloween candy.
    • Six principles: SUCCESs.
    • The villain: Curse of Knowledge.
    • It's hard to be a tapper.
    • Creativity starts with templates.
    • Commander's Intent.
    • THE low-fare airline.
    • Burying the lead and the inverted pyramid.
    • It's the economy, stupid.
    • Decision paralysis.
    • Clinic: Sun exposure.
    • Names, names, and names.
    • Simple = core + compact.
    • Proverbs.
    • The Palm Pilot wood block.
    • Using what's there.
    • The pomelo schema.
    • High concept: Jaws on a spaceship.
    • Generative analogies: Disney's "cast members."
    • The successful flight safety announcement.
    • The surprise brow.
    • Gimmicky surprise and "postdictability."
    • Breaking the guessing machine.
    • "The Nordie who ..."
    • " No school next Thursday."
    • Clinic: Too much on foreign aid?
    • Saturn's rings.
    • Movie turning points.
    • Gap theory of curiosity.
    • Clinic: Fund-raising.
    • Priming the gap: NCAA football.
    • Pocketable radio.
    • Man on the moon.
    • Sour grapes.
    • Landscapes as eco-celebrities.
    • Teaching subtraction with less abstraction.
    • Soapopera accounting.
    • Velcro theory of memory.
    • Brown eyes, blue eyes.
    • Engineers vs. manufacturers.
    • The Ferraris go to Disney World.
    • White things.
    • The leather computer.
    • Clinic: Oral rehydration therapy.
    • Hamburger Helper and Saddleback Sam.
    • The Nobel-winning scientist no one believed.
    • Flesh-eating bananas.
    • Authority and antiauthority.
    • Pam Laffin, smoker.
    • Powerful details.
    • Jurors and the Darth Vader toothbrush.
    • The dancing seventy-three year old.
    • Statistics: Nuclear warheads as BBs.
    • The human-scale principle.
    • Officemates as a soccer team.
    • Clinic: Shark attack hysteria.
    • The Sinatra Test.
    • Transporting Bollywood movies.
    • Edible fabric.
    • Where's the beef?
    • Testable credentials.
    • The Emotional Tank.
    • Clinic: Our flawed intuition.
    • NBA rookie camp.
    • The Mother Teresa principle: If I look at the one, I will act.
    • Beating smoking with the Truth.
    • Semantic stretch and why unique isn't unique.
    • Reclaiming "sportsmanship."
    • Schlocky but masterful mail-order ads.
    • WIIFY.
    • Cable television' in Tempe.
    • Avoiding Maslow's basement.
    • Dining in Iraq.
    • The popcorn popper and political science.
    • Clinic: Why study algebra?
    • Don't mess with Texas.
    • Who cares about duo piano?
    • Creating empathy.
    • The day the heart monitor lied.
    • Shop talk at Xerox.
    • Helpful and unhelpful visualizations.
    • Stories as flight simulators.
    • Clinic: Dealing with problem students.
    • Jared, the 425-pound fast-food dieter.
    • Spotting inspiring stories.
    • The Challenge Plot.
    • The Connection Plot.
    • The Creativity Plot.
    • Springboard stories at the World Bank: A health worker in Zambia.
    • How to make presenters angry with stories.
    • Nice guys finish last.
    • Elementary, my dear Watson.
    • The power of spotting.
    • Curse of Knowledge again.
    • Pay attention, understand, believe, care, and act.
    • Sticky problems: symptoms and solutions.
    • John F. Kennedy versus Floyd Lee.


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futures.

It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting point



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