Made to Stick Book Summary - Made to Stick Book explained in key points
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Made to Stick summary

Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

4.5 (316 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath is a business book that explores the six principles needed to make ideas memorable and compelling. It offers real-world examples and practical tips for creating ideas that resonate with your audience.

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    Made to Stick
    Summary of 9 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 9

    Every idea can be presented so that it sticks.

    Great ideas aren’t always successful. Often, even magnificent insights go unrewarded and wind up gathering dust in file cabinets.

    At the same time, far less worthy ideas like rumors and urban legends spread like wildfire.

    Take, for example, the panic in America regarding adulterated Halloween candy. Millions of parents worried that unknown villains were giving their children candy laced with poison or razor blades.

    What they didn’t know was that the story was a baseless urban myth.

    But why do stories like this spread so quickly? And why are they so hard to stamp out?

    Quite simply, they share two key qualities: they are memorable and people are eager to pass them onward.

    By taking advantage of these two principles, any idea can be designed so that it’s sticky and popular.

    A few years ago in America, certain health groups wanted to raise awareness of the fact that movie popcorn – at the time prepared with coconut oil – contained extraordinarily high amounts of saturated fat, making it extremely unhealthy.

    Simply telling consumers that a bag of popcorn contained 37 g of saturated fat proved ineffective – the number was too dry and academic to stick in people’s minds.

    So they tried something stickier:

    “A medium-sized ‘butter’ popcorn at a typical neighborhood movie theatre contains more artery-clogging fat than a bacon-and-eggs breakfast, a Big Mac and fries for lunch, and a steak dinner with all the trimmings – combined!”

    This vivid message stuck, spread, and eventually led to the replacement of coconut oil with healthier alternatives by all major American cinema chains.

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    What is Made to Stick about?

    Made to Stick explains why some ideas become popular, while others wither and die.

    The book lays out the most important characteristics of “stickiness”; that is, what makes ideas “stick” in the mind, and how to make them work for you.

    Made to Stick Review

    Made to Stick (2007) explores why some ideas are unforgettable while others are easily forgotten, and provides a framework for creating messages that stick. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Full of practical examples and case studies, it offers a blueprint for crafting persuasive and memorable messages that resonate with audiences.
    • The book emphasizes the importance of simplifying ideas and making them concrete, helping readers communicate their ideas more effectively.
    • By exploring the key principles behind sticky ideas, such as emotion, storytelling, and unexpectedness, it equips readers with techniques for capturing attention and inspiring action.

    Who should read Made to Stick?

    • Anyone with an idea to share
    • Anyone interested in why some ideas catch on and others don’t
    • Every film director, advertising executive, NGO worker and so on.

    About the Author

    Chip Heath is a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University. He holds a BSc in industrial engineering and a PhD in psychology.

    His brother Dan Heath is an academic, consultant and founder of the publishing company Thinkwell, which takes a new, didactic approach to writing textbooks.

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    Made to Stick FAQs 

    What is the main message of Made to Stick?

    The main message of Made to Stick is to make ideas memorable and impactful through specific strategies and principles.

    How long does it take to read Made to Stick?

    The reading time for Made to Stick varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in less than 15 minutes.

    Is Made to Stick a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Made to Stick is a valuable read for anyone looking to communicate ideas effectively. It provides practical insights and examples to make ideas stick.

    Who is the author of Made to Stick?

    The authors of Made to Stick are Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

    What to read after Made to Stick?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Made to Stick, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Purple Cow by Seth Godin
    • Switch by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
    • Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout
    • How Big Things Get Done by Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
    • Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg
    • Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
    • Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins