Book Review: Made to Stick

Full Title: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, Chip Heath & Dan Heath

5 out of 5 stars | Read the Summary on Goodreads 

I'm an idea person. I'm constantly coming up with ideas, but never know which ones are the best ones--the ones that will change how we do business. I turned to Made to Stick by the Heath brothers because it's not just about creativity, but about how to communicate in a way that transforms the way people think and act. A lot of what they talk about in the book seems basic, but the more I read, the more I realized I wasn't practicing many of their ideas. 

duct tape sticky ideas communication

In the book, they discuss six qualities that turn an idea from ok to awesome: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotional, and stories. They mix each of these qualities with entertaining urban legends, success stories, personal anecdotes, and specific best practices that outline exactly what's going to work and what won't. 

Ultimately, I loved the discussion on the "Curse of Knowledge," where the more you know, the harder it is to write something clear or high level. Working with technical teams in digital marketing, I run into this all the time. This book provides ways to beat the curse and make sure every blog post, email, or thank you card makes sense. Essentially, it goes back to marketing 101: putting yourself in the shoes of the audience.

When [people] share their lessons...they’re hearing a song, filled with passion and emotion, inside their heads. But they forget that the audience can’t hear the same tune they hear.