To be honest, my slight Attention Deficiency Syndrome (ADS) (my suspicions) prevents me from finishing any book that I start. However, here are the books that I can’t put down once I got started. They are mainly about consumer psychology and how to hack your way to a “yes” from your customers.
- Tipping point By Malcolm Gladwell
- Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
- The upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely
- Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
- Contagious by Jonah Berger
Reasons why these books would make you a better growth hacker
When it comes to growth hacking, it is about pushing on till the idea reaches the tipping point, because after that it just goes viral. Malcolm illustrates how some successful examples had managed to do it.
“The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life,” writes Malcolm Gladwell, “is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread just like viruses do.” Although anyone familiar with the theory of mimetics will recognise this concept, Gladwell’s The Tipping Point has quite a few interesting twists on the subject.
For example, Paul Revere was able to galvanise the forces of resistance so effectively in part because he was what Gladwell calls a “Connector”: he knew just about everybody, particularly the revolutionary leaders in each of the towns that he rode through. But Revere “wasn’t just the man with the biggest Rolodex in colonial Boston”, he was also a “Maven” who gathered extensive information about the British. He knew what was going on and he knew exactly whom to tell. The phenomenon continues to this day–think of how often you’ve received information in an e-mail message that had been forwarded at least half a dozen times before reaching you.
Gladwell develops these and other concepts (such as the “stickiness” of ideas or the effect of population size on information dispersal) through simple, clear explanations and entertainingly illustrative anecdotes, such as comparing the pedagogical methods of Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues, or explaining why it would be even easier to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the actor Rod Steiger. Although some readers may find the transitional passages between chapters hold their hands a little too tightly, and Gladwell’s closing invocation of the possibilities of social engineering sketchy, even chilling, The Tipping Point is one of the most effective books on science for a general audience in ages. It seems inevitable that “tipping point”, like “future shock” or “chaos theory,” will soon become one of those ideas that everybody knows–or at least knows by name. —Ron Hogan (Source: Amazon’s review)
The book continues the idea of “stickiness” popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point, seeking to explain what makes an idea or concept memorable or interesting. A similar style to Gladwell’s is used, with a number of stories and case studies followed by principles. The stories range from urban legends, such as the “Kidney Heist” in the introduction; to business stories, as with the story of Southwest Airlines, “the low price airline”; to inspirational, personal stories such as that of Floyd Lee, a passionate mess hall manager. Each chapter includes a section entitled “Clinic”, in which the principles of the chapter are applied to a specific case study or idea to demonstrate the principle’s application.(Source: Wikipedia)
The Dan Brothers also wrote other books such as “Switch” and they have a great website of resources that you can refer to.
Dan is my favorite author of all time as he could make impressive deductions from his behavioral experiments so easy to comprehend and apply. He is currently the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University.
- How can large bonuses sometimes make CEOs less productive?
- Why is revenge so important to us? (Here’s a recent research on the biological reason to explain why)
- How can confusing directions actually help us?
- Why is there a difference between what we think will make us happy and what really makes us happy?
In his groundbreaking book, Predictably Irrational, social scientist Dan Ariely revealed the multiple biases that lead us to make unwise decisions. Now, in The Upside of Irrationality, he exposes the surprising negative and positive effects irrationality can have on our lives. Focusing on our behaviors at work and in relationships, he offers new insights and eye-opening truths about what really motivates us on the job, how one unwise action can become a long-term bad habit, how we learn to love the ones we re with, and more. The Upside of Irrationality will change the way we see ourselves at work and at home and cast our irrational behaviors in a more nuanced light. (Source: back cover of the book)
Follow him on his podcasts.
This is another great book by Dan. In the book, you will find out:
What makes things popular?
Word of mouth is 10 times as effective as traditional advertising, but why do people talk about and share certain things rather than others? Why do some products catch on, some ideas diffuse, and some online content go viral?
Wharton professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. In Contagious, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles (STEPPS) drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to services and ideas within organizations.
Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on. (Source: jonahberger.com)