Nothing "goes viral". If you think a popular movie, song, or app came out of nowhere to become a word-of-mouth success in today's crowded media environment, you're missing the real story. Each blockbuster has a secret history - of power, influence, dark broadcasters, and passionate cults that turn some new products into cultural phenomena. Even the most brilliant ideas wither in obscurity if they fail to connect with the right network, and the consumers that matter most aren't the early adopters but rather their friends, followers, and imitators - the audience of your audience.
In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Shattering the sentimental myths of hit making that dominate pop culture and business, Thompson shows quality is insufficient for success, nobody has "good taste", and some of the most popular products in history were one bad break away from utter failure. It may be a new world, but there are some enduring truths to what audiences and consumers want. People love a familiar surprise: a product that is bold yet sneakily recognizable.
All businesses, artists, and people looking to promote themselves and their work want to know what makes some works so successful while others disappear. Hit Makers is a magical mystery tour through the last century of pop culture blockbusters and the most valuable currency of the 21st century - people's attention.
From the dawn of impressionist art to the future of Facebook, from Etsy designers to the origin of Star Wars, Derek Thompson leaves no pet rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens and why things become popular.
In Hit Makers, Derek Thompson investigates:
©2017 Derek Thompson (P)2017 Penguin Audio
Working in a creative field, under a confluence of what often seems arbitrary, I find Thompson' thesis and its supporting research insightful and informative without being redundant.
Husband, father, IT Leader and Innovator specializing in Retail Energy pricing and costing systems
The question this book tries to answer is "what makes something popular?" There are many sub-questions and topics that one can cover when analyzing popularity and Mr. Thompson is exhaustive and entertaining from networks to medium and messaging. French Impressionism, Facebook, 'Rock Around the Clock' and Walt Disney are juxtaposed against some other less conspicuous "hits" to offer an informative and thought-provoking deep-dive on a topic whose secrets, on any other examination, might be infuriatingly elusive. And as with any good book, upon completion it begs a conversation.
Now - to find someone to talk about this ...
I feel like I understand the world more after reading this. It wasn't too long and got straight to the information. I feel as though Thompson used the theories he outlined to make this book a HIT. I have no complaints at all and I plan on listening to this one a few more times.
I would take the information in each chapter and create a clear application for the average business person, artist, or writer that wants to create a "Hit." The information in this book which comes primarily from anecdotes about past "hits," is interesting and even sometimes fascinating. However, the "takeaways" from one chapter often contradict the implications from a previous story, and the author never really tells you how to have a greater chance at producing a "hit" yourself.
The back stories behind successes like the Star Wars franchise and the impressionist painters are all really interesting. The least interesting part was the vague attempt to apply any of this to our work.
Software Engineer, Business Coach, Certified Coach And Keynote Speaker
I really loved this book and am re reading it again shortly. Well researched with incredible insights and unlike what it's title seems to suggest a light hearted discussion around hits, it's more a lesson In people and how they act and desire to act.
Great even if you're not in show business. All marketing professionals should listen to this.
Great insight into the understanding of what makes a Hit through the investigation of networks of distribution and the way these have changed over time, through great analysis of the human behavior and thought process. Excellently execution for an Audiobook !!!
Jonah Berger's "Contagious"
This book merged information I already knew with new information to make a cohesive argument -- so I feel like I learned something. I would recommend the book. The author read the book (which is good) but sometimes his cadence came across as too overly-dramatic.
String of Zeroes
interesting and mesmerizing, I'm going to listen to it again and again....lots of stuff to absorb
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