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Posted On: 2007-01-24

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You've tuned in to another installment of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Always chock full of simple, effective and affordable small business marketing tips, tactics, and strategies. And now here's your host, America's most practical small business marketing expert, John Jantsch.

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is you host, John Jantsch, and my guest today is Chip Heath. He's a professor of organizational behavior in the graduate school of business at Stanford University, and co-author of the Random House, I believe we can say bestseller, "Made to Stick, why some ideas survive and others die" and I might add that it features a lovely use of duct tape on the cover. So duct tape's really hot, isn't it Chip?

Duct tape is definitely in this year.

Well thanks for joining me. I want to read something that you've probably read already, but the guy Kawasaki said on his blog said that my prediction for Made to Stick is that it will join the tipping point and built to last as must-read for business people. That's pretty cool.

That was very cool. We would settle for about a tenth of either of those.

That it awesome. I have to say, it must mean you're on to something. So tell me first, and I always like to hear this from authors, where did the idea from the book come, or the research for the book, I mean, is this something you guys have been teaching and then one day said, you know this would be a good book?

Yeah, so when we talk about a sticky idea in the book, what we have in mind is something like JFK's bid in 1961 to put a man on the moon in this decade. And that's an idea that inspired lots of people that coordinated the actions of lots of people for about eight years. And it occurred to us as we started looking at sticky ideas, and my background is in research. I've done research on business strategy myths, I've done research on why chicken soup for the soul stories give us that little lump in the throat. My brother at age 24 founded an educational textbook company, and so he was doing video textbooks with the best professors in the country on chemistry and calculus and economics. And it occurred to us that the ideas that we saw, the messages that we saw that really resonated with people, had some things in common, whether they were history lessons or urban legends or successful ideas in society or culture, like JFK's bid to put a man on the moon.

So, not that example necessarily, but so what you're saying is that sometimes it was an idea that was maybe not even true, but the idea, or the story about the idea was so well formed that it became the urban legend, that you're talking about.

Yeah, and that was one insight that we had very early is that sticky ideas are not necessarily true ideas. So, if you're listeners have heard the story about the business traveler who accepts a drink from an attractive stranger and then ends up later on an ice-filled bathtub with a kidney missing. This is completely bogus.

Well I know it scared me when I read it.

It is a terrifying story. But, it has a lot of the attributes, you know, just like John F. Kennedy, it has this unexpected element...

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