WHY SOME IDEAS SURVIVE AND OTHERS DIE
by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Simple= CORE & COMPACT
“Finding the core” means stripping an idea down to its most critical
essence. To get to the core, we've got to weed out superfluous and
To make a profound idea compact you've got to pack a lot of meaning
into a little bit of messaging.
If we’re to succeed, the first step is this: Be Simple.
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not
when there is nothing left to add, but when there
is nothing left to take away.”
ADOPT THE SAME MENTALITY AS A
DESIGNER OF IDEAS – KNOW HOW MUCH
CAN BE WRUNG OUT OF IDEA BEFORE IT
LOSES IT’S ESSENCE
CREATE MYSTERY. HIGHLIGHT A KNOWLEDGE GAP. TEASE
▲ Break a pattern
▲Open a knowledge gap
▲Pose a question or puzzle
▲ Challenge people to predict an
▲Use a mystery story
▲ The gap theory of curiosity
▲ Close knowledge gaps while opening
▲ Turning point concept
▲ Shift from conveying information
to deciding what questions you want
your audience to ask
△ Nordstrom is a departmental store known
for outstanding customer service.
▲ Staff ironed a new shirt for a customer
who needed it for a meeting that afternoon
▲ who made a last-minute delivery of party
clothes to a frantic hostess
▲ warmed customers’ cars in winter while
they finished shopping
NATURALLY STICKY IDEAS ARE
FULL OF CONCRETE IMAGES, BECAUSE OUR BRAINS ARE
WIRED TO REMEMBER CONCRETE DATA.
Velcro Theory of Memory
Imagine your brain as having the
thousands of loops of a piece of
Velcro™ - representing all of its
diverse ling cabinets of memory.
The more hooks in your idea, the
better. Make them experience the
Find a way to invite people
to the table, to help them
bring their knowledge to
CREDIBILITYHow do we make people believe our ideas?
HELP PEOPLE BELIEVE
1. External Credibility
▷ Endorsement of authorities and anti-authorities (stories with
▷ Honesty and trustworthiness matters, not status!
2. Internal Credibility
▷ Boost Credibility – use vivid details
▷ Make statistics available. “Humanize” them.
▷ Sinatra Test – “If you can make it there, you can make it
HOW TO MAKE PEOPLE CARE
ABOUT OUR IDEAS?
APPEAL TO SELF - INTEREST
If you want people to care, tap into things that
they care about. We get them to take off their
Analytical Hats. We create empathy for specific
individuals. We show how our ideas are
associated with things that people already care
We appeal to their self-interest, but we also
appeal to their identities – not only to the people
they are right now, but also to the people they
would like to be.
Stories naturally embody most of the S.U.C.C.E.S(s)
❀ Stories are almost always Concrete. Most of them have
Emotional and Unexpected elements.
❀ The hardest part of using stories effectively is making sure
that they’re Simple – that they reflect your core message.
❀ We just need to be ready to spot the good ones that life
generates every day.
For an idea to stick, it must
make the audience:
1. Pay attention - UNEXPECTED
2. Understand and remember it - CONCRETE
3. Agree / Believe - CREDIBLE
4. Care - EMOTION
5. Be able to act on it - STORY