The two gentlemen in this picture are the Heath brothers. Chip and Dan Heath to be more specific. I met them briefly on this chilly February evening at a bookstore where they were promoting their first book—Made to Stick. They hosted a quick chat and signed some books (I bought a copy on the spot and got it signed). This post obviously is not a book review as I haven't read their book yet—but bear with me...
Why was I there?
I opted to skip coming home and seeing Chip and Dan in person primarily because of this, this, and this. And it was worth the detour. The first thing I noticed while taking my seat, was that the small audience at the bookstore was surprisingly diverse in age. There were folks in their 20s right up to folks in their 60's and 70s (and even a couple of toddlers!). The next thing I noticed was how effective their communication and storytelling was especially to this group of people ranging in ages. There's a lesson here for all aspiring writers and communicators (connecting with your audience regardless of age or background).
Ironically, this is the core subject matter outlined in their book—getting ideas to stick. Much of what they discussed in the bookstore had to do with the use of effective storytelling in our messages in order to get them to stick—to resonate and become memorable. This is how they outline the key traits of sticky ideas:
The book actually begins with the well known urban legend of the "Kidney Thieves"—making the point that successful urban legends contain these qualities. As I watched and listened to the brothers speak and entertain questions—I couldn't help but think about Roger von Oech's headline to his related post:
"Chip Heath: the Next Malcolm Gladwell?"
And while I don't have the answer to the suggestive headline—I will say that Chip does appear to have "it". What is "it"? "It" is hard to describe, but you know "it" when you see "it" and he's got it. I'm looking forward to digging into the book.