Book Review

Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
By Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Reviewed by

You have great ideas but how do you get people to understand them, to buy into your ideas? Finally, a book that explains in laymen's terms how to get your ideas to stick - as the authors wrote - "by 'stick,' we mean that your ideas are understood and remembered, and have a lasting impact - they change your audience's opinions ro behavior." The authors dismiss some old theories of how to present your ideas. For example, many of us have heard you need to repeat your idea many times in different ways to get people to remember your point. The authors point out if you have to repeat your ideas obviously the idea has not been understood and will not have a lasting impression. You will find the six principles of a successful idea - the SUCCESs checklist supported by examples, stories, suggestions, and solid proven strategies that will teach you what others have done and have been successful when trying to get their ideas across.

Getting an idea, or your point across, can at times be difficult. It boils down to how you communicate the idea or point you are trying to make. Well, this book is one of the best books I have ever read about just how to do that. You will find actual true stories showing you just how a particular idea was successful, and why others were not as successful.

A must have book for every leader, for every teacher, for every student, for every employee, for every salesperson, for anyone who wants to get their ideas accepted. It is a book that gives you solid advice in a manner that you will remember and be able to use in everyday situations. As the authors state, "This book is filled with normal people facing normal problems who did amazing things simply by applying these principles (even if they weren't aware that they were doing it)."

Some of our favorite
quotes from the book:

"The Golden Rule is the ultimate model of simplicity: a one-sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to follow it."

"What we mean by "simple" is finding the core of the idea."

"If you say three things, you don't say anything."

"The more we reduce the amount of information in an idea, the stickier it will be."

"Coming up with a short, compact phrase is easy. Anybody can do it. On the other hand, coming up with a profound compact phrase is incredibly difficult."

"The most basic way to get someone's attention is this: Break a pattern. Humans adapt incredibly quickly to consistent patterns."

"Our tendency is to tell people the facts. First, though, they must realize that they need these facts."

"There is value in sequencing information - not dumping a stack of information on someone at once but dropping a clue, then another clue, then another clue, then another. This method of communication resembles flirting more than lecturing."

"The more hooks an idea has, the better it will cling to memory."

"But if we're skeptical about our ability to affect belief, we merely have to look at naturally sticky ideas, because some of them persuade us to believe some pretty incredible things."

"When it comes to statistics, our best advice is to use them as input, not as output. Use them to make up your mind on an issue. Don't make up your mind and then go looking for the numbers to support yourself - that's asking for temptation and trouble."

"Feelings inspire people to act."

"Are ideas born interesting or made interesting?"

"Good ideas often have a hard time succeeding in the world."

"ůsticky ideas do draw from a common set of traits, which make them more likely to succeed."

"Stories are effective teaching tools. They show how context can mislead people to make the wrong decisions. Stories illustrate casual relationships that people hadn't recognized before and highlight unexpected, resourceful ways in which people have solved problems."

"Stories are like flight simulators for the brain."

"The stars of stickiness are the students who made their case by telling stories, or by tapping into emotion, or by stressing a single point rather than ten."

"And that's the great thing about the world of ideas- any of us with the right insight and the right message, can make an idea stick."

We highly recommend this book
Made To Stick and we encourage you to use SUCCESs checklist as a tool to help you formulate and communicate your ideas. You can purchase the book from

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