Have you ever read Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip and Dan Heath? If not I thoroughly recommend it.

Much like the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, another classic I might add, Made to Stick is a must read for entrepreneurs and business people.

In the book the authors discuss the Holy Grail concept about ‘why some ideas thrive while others die’. The Heath brothers reveal the anatomy of ideas that “stick” and explain sure-fire methods for making ideas stickier. They managed to condense this intriguing concept into six sticky traits.

From these six sticky traits I’d like to discuss ‘surprise’ or ‘unexpectedness’ in this blog post.

Chip and Dan Heath presented that something unexpected, something that breaks a pattern will help you capture your readers’ attention much better.

This concept has two levels. Surprise captures our attention, and then interest holds it.

This is where a ‘surprising headline’ can capture your attention because your brains love novelty.

You brain will be much more tuned in to an article when you experience a feeling of unpredictability.

Surprises will stimulate you more, and will grab your attention way better than something you already know.

There are various things that make ideas memorable. You need to grab people’s attention.

The Heaths describe an advertising spot in which the viewer sees a happy family getting into a minivan and cruising blandly through suburban streets.

Then, apparently out of nowhere – bang! An appalling crash. The idea: “Buckle up.” The reason that the ad was effective: “It violates our schema of real-life neighbourhood trips.”


I think one of the best things I learned from this book is that “Made to Stick” was not written just to entertain, but it will give you extremely useful strategies for creating sticky ideas.

When you understand the concepts given you will be able to use them to evaluate your own work. This kind of sets “Made to Stick” apart from ‘The Tipping Point’ as you might find you can use the Heath concepts more easily than Gladwell’s.

The authors use an entertaining blend of case studies and startling research, to lay out the critical elements of a sticky idea. I’ll leave it up to you to work out what the others are.

Remember ‘Made to Stick’ has been on many “best of the year” lists and was selected as one of the best 100 business books of all time. Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip and Dan Heath

Why don’t you grab your own copy of this book? Simply click the image on the left and you will be directed straight to the Amazon page.


Always Dedicated to your success,

Greg Noland




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