Knowledge curses us, if we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it. And it becomes difficult to share our knowledge with others because we can’t readily re-create our listener’s state of mind.
Made to Stick by brothers Chip Heath and Dan Heath tries to uncover why some ideas capture our imagination while others fall into the abyss, never to be seen again.
I really enjoyed this book. I tend to read very technical books, so this was a nice change of pace. I coincidentally was reading this book while coming up with a ‘pitch’ for my recent SEP Startup Weekend project, Ollert.
Made to Stick lays out examples of really good and really mediocre descriptions of ideas. The authors then use the concepts discussed within the book to improve these ideas or discuss why they are effective. Whenever I hear people explaining real-world ideas, I start to think about the concepts laid out in this book. I’d like to be able to use these concepts to communicate my own ideas more effectively, but I have thus far found it to be easier said than done.
The book is not terribly long. This allowed me to connect all the concepts and better critique the numerous examples.
Although I did enjoy the book, a few of the sections came off a little bit like a self-help program. The concepts described in the book are ‘Simplicity’, ‘Unexpectedness’, ‘Concreteness’, ‘Credibility’, ‘Emotional’, and ‘Stories’, which “just happen” to spell out most of the word “success.” This silly feel-goodery acronym makes the cynical side of me cringe.
Who Would Like This
Anyone trying to communicate a new idea to someone else could benefit from this book. On a broader scope, this book can benefit your communication patterns in general. This is particularly helpful for professionals, who may have a difficulty expressing their ideas without getting too deep in the technicalities.