Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath – book review

A friend of a friend of ours is a frequent business traveller. Let’s call him Dave. Dave was recently in Atlantic City for an important meeting with clients. Afterwards, he had some time to kill before his flight, so he went to a local bar for drink.

He’d just finished one drink when an attractive woman approached and asked if she could buy him another. He was surprised but flattered. Sure, he said. The woman walked to the bar and brought back two more drinks – one for her and one for him. He thanked her and took a sip. And that was the last thing he remembered.

Rather, that was the last thing he remembered until he woke up, disoriented, lying in a hotel bathtub, his body submerged in ice.

He looked around frantically, trying to figure out where he was and how he got there. Then he spotted the note:


A cell phone rested on a small table beside the bathtub. He picked it up and dialled 911, his fingers numb and clumsy from the ice. The operator seemed oddly familiar with his situation. She said. “Sir, I want you to reach behind you, slowly and carefully. Is there a tube protruding from your lower back?”

Anxious, he felt around behind him. Sure enough, there was a tube.

The operator said, “Sir don’t panic, but one of your kidneys has been harvested. There’s a ring of organ thieves operating in this city, and they got you. Paramedics are on their way. Don’t move until they arrive.”

I bet you read all this didn’t you? This is the opener for “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath. It is one of the most successful urban legends of the past fifteen years.

Made to Stick is a book about positioning ideas and propositions in such a way that they “stick”. As they say in the book chances are the whether you remember where you read this review or whether or not you get the story exactly right, there’s a very good chance that even in a few days time you will remember the urban myth shared here. It’s “sticky”

This is an excellent book written in an easy to read style that will help you to develop ways to promote your business or offer your ideas or propositions in a way that your customers or audience will remember after the event.

I bought the Kindle version of the book and read it on my Scroll Tablet, but it is available in paper back too.