Discussion – 


Book Summary: Made to Stick

In a world inundated with information, ideas that stick stand out. “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath delves into the art of crafting ideas that endure.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the core concepts and strategies presented in the book, revealing how to make your ideas memorable, impactful, and, most importantly, sticky.


Made to Stick Summary of Key Ideas and Review | Chip Heath and Dan Heath -  Blinkist

Chapter 1: Introduction – What Makes Ideas Sticky?

The book opens by introducing the concept of “stickiness” and highlighting the authors’ fascination with understanding why some ideas resonate and others fade into oblivion. They set the stage by discussing the famous urban legend of the kidney theft and how it has persisted for years despite being utterly false. The central question is posed: “What makes stories like these so unforgettable?”

The authors propose that sticky ideas possess six key qualities, which they refer to as the SUCCESs framework:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotional Appeal
  6. Stories

Chapter 2: Simple – Finding the Core of Your Idea

The first principle of stickiness is simplicity. The authors argue that simplifying your idea makes it more accessible and easier for your audience to remember. They introduce the “Commander’s Intent” concept from the military, emphasizing the need to distill complex messages into a concise and memorable core.

Chapter 3: Unexpected – Capturing Attention with Surprise

Surprise is a powerful tool for creating sticky ideas. The authors stress the importance of defying people’s expectations and sparking their curiosity. They discuss the “gap theory,” where curiosity arises when there is a gap between what people know and what they want to know.

Chapter 4: Concrete – Making Ideas Clear and Vivid

To make an idea stick, it must be concrete. Abstract concepts often fail to engage the audience. The authors introduce the concept of “Velcro Theory of Memory,” highlighting that concrete details act as hooks that latch onto our minds.

Chapter 5: Credible – Building Trust and Believability

Credibility is crucial in making an idea sticky. The authors explore the concept of “sinister detail” and explain how adding a specific, credible piece of information can make an idea more believable.

Chapter 6: Emotional – Connecting with Hearts and Minds

Emotion plays a pivotal role in making ideas stick. The authors share how appealing to emotions can enhance an idea’s stickiness. They delve into the “Mother Teresa Effect” and explain how people are more likely to help a single, identifiable victim than a faceless crowd.

Chapter 7: Stories – Wrapping Your Idea in Narrative

Narratives are one of the most potent tools for crafting sticky ideas. The authors discuss the power of storytelling, explaining how stories provide context, engage emotions, and make ideas more memorable.

Chapter 8: Putting It All Together

The final chapter synthesizes the SUCCESs framework, emphasizing that sticky ideas often incorporate several of these principles in harmony. The authors also introduce a checklist for evaluating the “stickiness” of an idea.



 Epilogue: What Sticks?

The book concludes with an exploration of sticky ideas in various domains, from urban legends to proverbs and corporate success stories. The authors reiterate that crafting sticky ideas requires a combination of creativity and a deep understanding of human psychology.

Application: How to Make Your Ideas Stick

Having explored the key concepts from “Made to Stick,” let’s shift our focus to applying these principles to make your ideas more memorable and impactful:

  1. Simplify: Strip away unnecessary complexity and focus on the core message. Use clear and concise language to communicate your idea effectively.
  2. Surprise: Incorporate elements of surprise or unexpectedness to grab your audience’s attention and pique their curiosity. This can be achieved through intriguing anecdotes, facts, or questions.
  3. Concreteness: Make your ideas tangible and vivid by using specific details and examples. Avoid abstract or jargon-laden language that may confuse your audience.
  4. Credibility: Build trust by providing evidence and credible sources to support your claims. Highlight your expertise or the credibility of your organization.
  5. Emotional Appeal: Connect with your audience’s emotions. Craft your message to evoke empathy, joy, or other emotions relevant to your message.
  6. Storytelling: Use narratives to convey your ideas. Stories provide context, engage emotions, and create memorable experiences for your audience.
  7. Evaluate: Before presenting your idea, use the SUCCESs framework as a checklist to assess its stickiness. Identify areas where you can enhance simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotional appeal, and storytelling.

“Made to Stick” is a thought-provoking exploration of what makes ideas memorable and impactful. By understanding and applying the SUCCESs framework, you can increase the chances of your ideas sticking with your audience. Whether you’re a marketer, educator, leader, or simply someone looking to communicate more effectively, the principles outlined in this book offer valuable insights into the art of crafting ideas that endure and resonate with others. So, go ahead and make your ideas stick!