BookReview: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
by Chip Heath & Dan Heath, Random House , January 2, 2007, 978-1400064281

A pop-psych book why ideas hold up over time, and others don't. Chip & Dan Heath are brothers and professors at Stanford and Duke, respectively. They have surveyed the literature, and also practiced their ideas on their students.

No real "sticky" quotes in the book that I want to include here. The basic principles are: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories. Probably the most sticky principle for me is: stories. If you tell a story, people remember it. If you just give them facts, they don't. When you tell a story, you can provide context that is emotional, and it's likely a story is concrete. If the story is good, it's naturally credible and probably unexpected. We don't like hearing the same story over again, and we don't like being told "tall tales".

If you haven't been exposed to pop-psych, this is a pretty good book, because it gives pointers to the literature. It's likely that if you are reading this, you have been exposed to pop-psych, and you have come across this idea elsewhere, for example, Extreme Programming uses stories as a way for customers to write simple, concrete requirements.

Via Rob 10/13/2007