Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die: The coolest book review.

You have all these smart, innovative and creative ideas.

You have so much knowledge and may even define yourself as an expert in your field.

And yet, you have no SUCCESs in making your ideas stick.

You probably even noticed that the more knowledge and expertise you try to get to improve your ideas, the less sticky your ideas get and the less likely your audience will remember what you said. 

I know why…

You are cursed.

But don’t worry, the brothers Heath unraveled the mystery behind your curse in their book “Made to stick” and while you can read it in one week, I will make your life easier and summarize it in one blog post.

You’re welcome 🙂

Now, I want you to take a minute and think of the “Happy Birthday” song.

Can you clearly hear the tunes and the words of the song in your head?

I want you to tap out the rhythm on the table for a friend or whomever is with you. And try to make them guess what song it it.


I want you to understand that all your friend is hearing right now is a series of taps.

(Disclaimer: They might even think you have a problem).

I challenge you to listen to the taps now without hearing in the back of your head:

Happy Birthday to you , Happy birthday to you , Happy birthday Dear Erica ♬,

 Happy birthday to you ♪

Game over.

You are cursed. Again.

It is the same with your area of expertise, you have what the brothers Heath have defined as the “curse of knowledge”.

And while you can’t unhear the “Happy birthday” song or unlearn the knowledge that you have, you might have a chance to still come up with SUCCESsful ideas.

(And yes, I know when to use upper and lower case letters if you were wondering why I was spelling success the way I just did, twice. It is the least I can do after spending 21 years in school).

Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional and if you manage to do all of that in a Story format, then that is your SUCCESs story.

If you use this checklist to tailor your melody, your audience can clearly hear it:

  1. Keep it simple. Just do it.
  2. Hold your people’s attention. How? By using the element of surprise to create mystery and produce curiosity. (Just like I did when I told you you were cursed. Admit it, you did not expect it).
  3. If you can  feel, see, remember or picture something, that’s concreteness. Use it.
  4. While not everyone is JFK or has a degree from an Ivy League school, like our authors who were professors and researchers in Stanford and Harvard schools of Business, the more detailed and vivid you make your idea, the more you lend credibility to your story, even if you went to community college (nothing wrong with that).
  5. You can be very passionate about saving whales off of the US east coast. If you expect your audience to care at the same level, you fall into your curse again. Instead, find a way for your audience to associate with your cause and experience emotions.
  6. And last but not least, statistics and data are boring (yawn) and people will probably forget them by the time you’re on your next boring slide. Stories are fun. Tell a story. AND don’t forget to keep it simple!


Again, remember, you’re cursed and only you can hear your melody. So use your SUCCESs checklist to make it easier for those who don’t.


For an audio or a kindle version of the book: click here.

For a paperback or a hardcover version of the book: click here.

Source: Made to stick by Chip and Dan Heath.