Made To Stick – How To Make Your Idea Memorable

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Made To Stick may be the best business book of 2007. Written by brothers who are also business professors, it is rare in that it is well researched and theoretical, yet practical at the same time. It doesn't contain magic bullets and the authors are honest enough to note that some ideas just can't be made that "sticky."

The book is about "stickiness," and looks at ideas that people tend to remember and pass on. It's a combination of marketing, memetics, psychology, and business strategy all rolled into one. The stories are concrete, and very useful. The book is worth the price just for the section about curse of knowledge. And how can you not love a book with a piece of duct tape on the front?

Here is an excerpt from the book:

The most basic way to get someone's attention is this: Break a pattern. Humans adapt incredibly quickly to consistent patterns. Figure out what is counterintuitive about the message-i.e., What are the unexpected implications of your core message? Communicate your message in a way that breaks your audiences' guessing machines.

When you read the book, you don't finish it with the mindset of "how can I make my idea sticky?" Rather, you finish it and think "what is sticky about what I am doing?" There is a big difference between those two mindsets.

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Management Consulting News has an interview with Dan Heath that is worth reading. If you like it, pick up a copy of the book. You can also check out the ChangeThis manifesto that the Heath brothers wrote.

Other relevant links:
Time Magazine article on the book.
Common Craft review.
Bert Decker review.
John Moore review.