Jan Kubr

Posts Tagged ‘made to stick’

A book read: Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 20:36

A decently useful book. If you don’t struggle for more than a week to finish it, it is a time well spent.

The authors present a basic framework for improving the stickiness of ideas you are trying to communicate. There are six basic aspects you need to keep an eye on: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and how much your idea is presented as a story (which abbreviates as SUCCESs). If your message has these attributes, it’ll then help you make people understand (simplicity), pay attention (unexpectedness), remember (concreteness), believe and agree (credibility), care (emotions), and act (stories).

The book is full of examples of successful ideas. I didn’t think they always fit well in the chapter they were in (that they ilustrated the attribute they were supposed to most), but what the heck.

Particulary interesting:

The was an experiment made at Stanford: Members of one group of people were asked to tap out a rhythm of a song on a table. Other group had to guess what song was being tapped. Only 3 out of 120 songs were guessed right. Now the interesting part. Each time the tappers were asked if they thought the listeners would guess right. They thought they would in 50% of the time! It shows how much we are affected by the Curse of Knowledge. We hear the songs in our heads and thus we think it’s obvious what we’re tapping. It’s very hard for us to imagine not knowing what the song is. And yet this is very important if we want to get any complicated thought across.

Colonel Tom Kolditz: “(…) Many armies fail because they put all their emphasis into creating a plan that becomes useless ten minutes into the battle.”

“To get to the core, we’ve got to weed out superfluous and tangential elements. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is weeding out ideas that may be really important but just aren’t the most important idea.”

“There are two steps in making your ideas sticky – Step 1 is to find the core, Step 2 is to translate the core using the SUCCESs checklist.”

“People are tempted to tell you everything, with perfect accuracy, right up front, when they should be giving you just enough info to be useful, then a little more, then a little more.”

“In fifteen seconds:
(1) Write down as many things that are white in color as you can think of.
(2) Write down as many white things in your refrigerator as you can think of.

(1) Think of five silly things that people have done in the world in the past ten years.
(2) Think about five silly things your child has done in the past ten years.”

Are the tasks under (2)s easier because your brain is able to focus more?