What makes Ideas stick?

What makes ideas stick and what makes them worth sharing? How can we make our Message stick? In the great book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath we get an answer, they call it the stickiness Factor:

Ideas must be

  1. Simple
  2. Unexpected
  3. Concrete
  4. Credible
  5. Emotional
  6. Tell a Story
  1. Simple: Strip the Idea to the core! What is the most important thing you want people to take away from it? What is the main problem your idea seeks to solve? Keep it Simple
  2. Unexpected: Things that are boring don’t get shared so we have to grab attention by suprising people! How to do that?
    • Break a pattern people are used to
    • Pose a Question or a puzzle
    • Use a mystery story
    • Open a knowledge Gap, people get curios when they feel that they don’t understand something
  3. Concrete: Your Idea should be grasped and remembered! Be clear in your message.
  4. Credible: Make sure that your idea is believable! Some ways to do that:
    • Borrow someones credibility
    • Create stories with real people
    • No lies
    • Details matter
    • Give them something they can test themselves
  5. Emotional: People love drama so provide them with it. What emotions do I want to invoke in people?
  6. Story: Empower people to use an idea through narratives! Tell a story, the more hocks it has the more it will stick. Make sure to tell a compelling story.

These are the six factors that give your idea the biggest chance to get shared by other people.

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Related Blog Posts:

How to Fascinate?

How to be Fascinating …

Fascinating things/ people do/ are :

  • Provoke strong Emotions
  • Create Advocates
  • Become a cultural shorthand for a set of actions or values
  • Incites Conversations
  • Force the competition to conform to them
  • Are not afraid to challenge status quo

Triggers of Fascination:

  1. Alarm: Provocing a alarming signal in people does
  2. Lust: Talking to the senses. Sex sells.
  3. Trust: The only strategy to build long term commitment to something/ to someone is by establishing trust.
  4. Power: The show of Authority
  5. Prestige: What makes to the product/ person stand above the rest?
  6. Mistique: Sending mixed signals
  7. Vice: We like things that are forbidden, play with that

These are the 7 triggers that acording to the author make us fascinated of something, he recommends to use them wisely and never all at once.

Book on the subject: Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation

Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

Here are my extensive notes on the book Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday which I can highly recommend to any entrepreneur. These notes are for the most part directly taken from the book.
What is Growth Marketing?

It is a illusion that we need a huge budget to market effectivly.

Growth Hacking is a Mindset!

“A growth hacker is someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, trackable, and scalable. Their tools are e-mails, pay-per-click ads, blogs, and platform APIs instead of commercials, publicity, and money. While their marketing brethren chase vague notions like “branding” and “mind share,” growth hackers relentlessly pursue users and growth—and when they do it right, those users beget more users, who beget more users. They are the inventors, operators, and mechanics of their own self-sustaining and self-propagating growth machine that can take a start-up from nothing to something.”

What growth hackers do is focus on the “who” and “where” (Customers) more scientifically, in a more measurable way. Whereas marketing was once brand based, with growth hacking it becomes metric and ROI driven. Growth hackers trace their roots back to programmers—and that’s how they see themselves. They are data scientists meets design fiends meets marketers.

The new marketing mind-set begins not a few weeks before launch but, in fact, during the development and design phase.

Step 1: It Begins with the Product Market Fit

Product Market Fit (PMF). That is, the product and its customers are in perfect sync with each other. Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup , explains that the best way to get to Product Market Fit is by starting with a “minimum viable product” and improving it based on feedback—as opposed to what most of us do, which is to try to launch with what we think is our final product.

Socratic method: We must simply and repeatedly question every assumption. Who is this product for? Why would they use it? Why do I use it?

Example: Authors
Writing about in the book on their blog and when they speak in front of groups. They ask readers what they’d like to see in the book. They judge topic ideas by how many comments a given post generates, by how many Facebook “shares” an article gets. They put potential title and cover ideas up online to test and receive feedback. They look to see what hot topics other influential bloggers are riding and find ways of addressing them in their book.

Step 2: Finding Your Growth Hack

How to pull Customers;
“We’re trying to hit a few hundred or a thousand key people—not millions. That’s a relief, right? Better still, it actually works. In other words, launching does not need to be an enormous campaign we’re expected (too often) to produce out of thin air so much as an initial boost or a shot in the arm. Not a blowout grand opening, but a strategic opening or a stunt that catches the attention of our core audience.”

Not All People—the Right People
Growth hackers resist this temptation (or, more appropriately, this delusion). They opt, deliberately, to attract only the early adopters who make or break new tech services and seek to do it as cheaply as possible. Ignoring the urge to appeal to the mass market, at least to start with.


  1. You can reach out to the sites you know your potential customers read with a pitch e-mail: “This is who we are, this is what we’re doing, and this is why you should write about us.
  2. You can upload a post to Hacker News, Quora, or Reddit yourself.
  3. You can start writing blog posts about popular topics that get traffic and indirectly pimp your product.
  4. You can use the Kickstarter platform for exposure and bribe your first users with cool prizes (and get some online chatter at the same time).
  5. You can use a service like Help a Reporter Out (www.helpareporter.com) to find reporters who are looking for people to include in stories they are already writing about your space.
  6. You can literally find your potential customers one by one and invite them to your service for free or with some special incentive (that’s how small we’re talking).
  1. You can create the aura of exclusivity with an invite-only feature (as Mailbox did).
  2. You can create hundreds of fake profiles to make your service look more popular and active than it actually is—nothing draws a crowd like a crowd (as Reddit did in its early days).
  3. You can target a single service or platform and cater to it exclusively—essentially piggybacking off or even stealing someone else’s growth (as PayPal did with eBay).
  4. You can host cool events and drive your first users through the system manually (as Myspace, Yelp, and Udemy all did).
  5. You can bring on influential advisers and investors for their valuable audience and fame rather than their money (as About.me and Trippy did—a move that many startups have emulated).
  6. You can try to name a Planned Parenthood clinic after your client or pay D-list celebrities to say offensive things about themselves to promote your book.
“Instead, we are intensely focused on driving an initial set of new user sign-ups and customers, right now. It doesn’t matter how many people know about you or how they find out about you. It matters how many sign up. If handing out flyers on the street corner accomplishes that, then consider it growth hacking.”

The most insidious part of the traditional marketing model is that “big blowout launch” mythology and “build it and they will come” assumption that too many people associate with the web. Both are too simple and rarely effective.

STEP 3: Turn 1 into 2 and 2 into 4—Going Viral

Vitality needs to be build into the product.

Vitality at its core is asking someone spend their social capital recommending or linking or posting about you for free. The best way to get people to do this enormous favor for you? Make it seem like it isn’t a favor. Make it the kind of thing that is worth spreading and, of course, conducive to spreading.
If you want to go viral, it must be baked into your product. There must be a reason to share it and the means to do so.

Build in Vitality Examples:
Dropbox, for instance, offered its customers a 150 megabyte storage bonus if they linked their Dropbox account to their Facebook or Twitter account. Think of Hotmail, whose early attempts at growth hacking we looked at earlier. It turned every e-mail its users sent into a pitch to new customers. Think of Apple and BlackBerry, which turned their devices into advertising engines by adding “Sent from my iPhone” or “Sent from my BlackBerry” to every message sent.

STEP 4 Close the Loop: Retention and Optimization

Forget the conventional wisdom that says if a company lacks growth, it should invest more in sales and marketing. Instead, it should invest in refining and improving the service itself until users are so happy that they can’t stop using the service (and their friends come along with them).

Getting the most out of the leads we were already generation. Follow Up.

Growth hacking is about maximizing ROI—about expending our energies and efforts where they will be most effective. Well, the facts are in. You’re better off rolling out new features that get more out of your customer base, that turn potential users into active users, than going out and pounding the pavement for more potentials. You’re better off teaching your customers how to use your product—spending time, as services like Facebook and Amazon do, to get users to supply more personal information and make them more engaged—than chasing some new person who doesn’t really care.

“One Bird in the Hand is worth more then two in the bush”

The Future of Marketing;
Tactics that no one would have previously described as “marketing” turned out to be the marketing steroids behind their business growth.

Putting it into practice; Four Hour Body:
We had to be creative. We had to be analytical. We had to think outside the box. We had to use our relatively limited resources extremely carefully.
Data-driven approach, however, meant we actually looked at what worked and what didn’t.

Why Story Telling is Essential in Marketing

I recently read the book All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin which basically states that it is essential in this day and age to tell good stories to market anything effectively. The reason is simple: It’s to only way to cut through the huge clutter of advertising we get bombarded with. Here is what I learned:

People share stories that is the single most important reason for telling great stories as a marketer.

Great stories are rarely aimed at everyone. Average people are good at ignoring you. Average people have too many different points of view about life and average people are by and large satisfied. If you need to water down your story to appeal to everyone, it will appeal to no one. Match the worldview of a tiny audience – and then that tiny audience spreads the story.

Points about what makes a great story:

Everyone own special world view keep that in mind.

  • They don’t try to change someone’s worldview. Don’t try to use the facts to prove your case and to insist that people change their biases. Instead, identify a population with a certain worldview, frame your story in their terms, and you win.
  • Great stories don’t contradict themselves. If your restaurant is in the right location but has the wrong menu, you lose
  •  Great stories agree with our worldview. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead, they best stories agree with what the audience already believes. Everyone believe that saving time is something worth spending money, on so people pay. Frame the story in a way that it concurs with the world view of your customer.
  • Great stories don’t appeal to logic, but they often appeal to our senses and emotions.
  • A great story for the most part: is true /makes a promise/ is trusted/ is subtle. Talented marketers understand that the prospect is ultimately telling himself the lie, so allowing him (and the rest of the target audience) to draw his own conclusions is far more effective than just announcing the punch line.
  • First impressions start the story. Make sure that your message is delivered in a appropriate way to the story you want to tell. Snap Judgement is incredibly powerful.
  • People only notice the new and then make a guess.
  • A great story is simple and memorable.
About Competition:

The natural instinct is to figure out what’s working for the competition and then try to outdo it. To be cheaper than your competitor who competes on price, or faster than the competitor who competes on speed. The problem is that once a consumer has bought someone else’s story and believes that lie, persuading the consumer to switch is the same as persuading then to admit he was wrong. And people hate admitting that they’re wrong.

Instead, you must tell a different story and persuade those listening that your story is more important than the story they currently believe.  If your competition is faster, you must be cheaper. If they sell the story of health, you must sell the story of convenience. Build on the message your competition send before you don’t try to change the consumers mind.

The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz

The basic idea of this book is that you need to grow your business like a pumpkin, for this summary I concentrated only on the most important points without less useful stuff.

  1. Identify and leverage your biggest, natural strengh.
  2. Sell it to your clients
  3. As your business grows, concentrate fully on the clients who bring you the most revenue (80/20 Rule).
  4. Never ever let distractions, often labeled as new opportunities, take hold. Weed ’em out fast.
  5. Identify your top clients, and remove the rest of your less promising clients.
  6. Focus all your attention on your top clients. Nurture and protect them. Find out what they want more than anything, and if it’s in alignment with what you do best: Give it to them. Then, replicate the same service or product for as many of the same types of top clients as possible.
  7. Watch you company grow to a giant size.