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Hit Makers

The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction
Lu par : Derek Thompson
Durée : 11 h et 34 min
4 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

Prix : 26,47 €

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Description

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: 

  • The secret link between ESPN's sticky programming and the The Weeknd's catchy choruses 
  • Why Facebook is the world's most important modern newspaper 
  • How advertising critics predicted Donald Trump 
  • The fifth grader who accidentally launched "Rock Around the Clock", the biggest hit in rock and roll history 
  • How Barack Obama and his speechwriters think of themselves as songwriters 
  • How Disney conquered the world - but the future of hits belongs to savvy amateurs and individuals 
  • The French collector who accidentally created the Impressionist canon 
  • Quantitative evidence that the biggest music hits aren't always the best 
  • Why almost all Hollywood blockbusters are sequels, reboots, and adaptations 
  • Why one year - 1991 - is responsible for the way pop music sounds today 
  • Why another year - 1932 - created the business model of film 
©2017 Derek Thompson (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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Notations

Global

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 22/04/2017

A lot more interesting than I expected...

There's certainly some science here - both interesting and obvious - but I don't think that alone would have made this book a good listen.
What I found much more interesting were the stories used to illustrate some of the points - which dive into art history, industrial design, politics and linguistics.
Some of the most up-to-date pop culture references will probably date this book quite quickly, but the historical parallels are timeless, and arguably more interesting.

8 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Warren Whitlock
  • 01/04/2017

Best Book Ever if You Want to Understand Poularity

What did you love best about Hit Makers?

Most books on what makes a hit are rubbish. So I was not expecting much from Derek Thompson's "Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction." As one who popularizes new ideas for a living, I don't expect to pick up more than a couple of ideas while studying a book that moves my brain into thinking more about a topic. I was wrong. I totally underestimated the depth of understanding in this book. Instead of "cracking a code" and pretending there's some magic formula, Thompson traced the path of hits back to their origins, interviewed unlikely contributors and found the inception of ideas. This is the only way we can see the triggers that might contribute to making something a hit. Best explanation of why "viral marketing" is a fraud, best Disney history and several patterns I recognized in case studies outside of the book. I'm using this knowledge already.

What other book might you compare Hit Makers to and why?

Cialdini's "Influence" was groundbreaking for setting out 6 principles but is readable because of the stories shared. "Hit Makers" delivers on the stories.. and does well on explains these and other principles

What does Derek Thompson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Always best to hear the book in the author's voice. Usually, it's a compromise. In this case, Thompson's deliver was great.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Brahms best work was derivative.

8 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 05/10/2018

Super insightful. Loads of fun and useful facts.

I’m very happy I chose this audio book. It has helped me engage in conversations which talk about the topics around a persons attention and psychology. Great to listen at 1.25x speed.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10/09/2018

Great resource for creatives striving for success!

As an educator, this book has been a great resource for motivating students to understand their audience and the history of 'hits'! I reference this book almost every day at the college where I teach— it's an important concept for creators who want to make great art AND want to connect with their niche (and, want to make money). Context (and familiarity) are essential in order to connect with others! Love this book!

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J'oli
  • 25/03/2018

Starts of saying “The Tipping Point” book was wrong but then...

The book starts off saying “The Tipping Point” book was wrong but then ends by drawing the same conclusion Gladwell did in “The Tipping Point.”

If you’ve read “Outliers” and “The Tipping Point,” then save yourself a credit. If you haven’t read any of these books, I’ll save you 3 credits: going “viral” comes down to who you know, who knows about you, starting with serving a niche market, and luck. There, I just saved you about 24 hours of reading time. You’re welcome.

Ps: I was torn between 3 stars and 4 for an overall rating. At the last minute, I went with 4 stars because the author (who is also the narrator) seems like a nice guy.

11 sur 13 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Bukley
  • 19/06/2018

A bad impersonation of Malcolm Gladwell anecdotes

Malcolm Gladwell had his heyday around 10 years ago, until everyone caught on to his nonsense hypothesis based on narrow anecdotes. The formula is always the same, quaint or interesting vignette to prove a broad point that actually isn't true at all, but gets infused into the culture like a virus.

Here, Derek Thompson decides to take that formula for himself and the results are often painful. His signature is a level of saccharin sweet anecdotes to sell his ideas that Gladwell didn't have. The audiobook reading is even more syrupy as you can tell in the author's voice he just knows he's about to melt your heart.

There were a few salient points in the book, but the fluff to content ratio margin is untenable. The absurdity builds to a climax when we're introduced to a crowdfunded rapper presented as kid with 'no opportunities' who we are then informed gave the commencement speech at Harvard. How did he overcome such adversity?!?!

As is the norm with these books, a little scrutiny makes them melt, leaving a few morsels of knowledge behind.

5 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Dubi
  • 18/11/2018

Pure Drivel, Utter Nonsense Clickbait in Book Form

Derek Thompson discusses clickbait several times in Hit Makers. Clickbait is an exaggerated online headline that lures you into clicking on it without delivering on its promise. This book is clickbait. It's worse than clickbait, which after all is just a minor annoyance that wastes a minute of your time -- this audiobook by contrast will cost you real money or a credit, plus 11+ hours of your time, without ever fulfilling the promise of its headline -- a scientific explanation why hits are popular.

But it's not Thompson's fault. It's mine. I fell for the clickbait. I should've known that no science, no nothing, can identify a formula for hit making. If Thompson had that knowledge, he'd be making hits, not writing clickbait about it. More fool me. You don't have to fall for it. This is how I was going to end my review, but this is really the most important takeaway and needs to come first: Don't fall for it! Here's the rest of the review with some details, if you're interested:

Imagine this conversation. In fact, don't imagine it, just recall it, because you've had it many times: "What did you do last night?" "Saw a movie." "Any good?" "So-so, but it has this killer song in it. Don't waste your time with the movie, but do check out this song..." That is word of mouth. Thompson never considers that common explanation for how a movie with middling box office (Blackboard Jungle) could launch the best selling rock and roll hit ever (Rock Around the Clock). Instead, he chalks it up to chaos theory (a fancy way of saying luck).

Now imagine this conversation (which you will have to imagine, because if you've seen Star Wars, you know it has never taken place in real life): "You gotta Star Wars. The story will just knock you out!" "I couldn't agree more. What genius, taking a classic western and Flash Gordon and Kurosawa and melding them into something so familiar yet so new." Thompson chalks up the popularity of Star Wars to its, uh, story.

He's too young to remember how it really happened. Me and my friends saw a trailer for Star Wars before it came out, and said this: "Holy crap, what was that?" (We didn't say crap.) "Man, those special effects are off the charts, never seen anything like that!" "Swords made of light, cars that hover over the ground, holographic messages, spaceships dodging asteroids, exploding planets." "Holy crap!" (Still not saying crap.) "We gotta see it the minute it comes out!"

We told everyone we knew about it. We were there the night it opened. Then we told everyone about that. And then everyone went to see it, and they told everyone they knew about it. "Swords made of light, cars that hover over the ground, holographic messages, spaceships dodging asteroids, exploding planets." Thompson never mentions the effects, or the vision of the future, or the hopeful messages, or the word of mouth that propelled the movie, or the cult following that bound people afterwards. In truth, the weakest aspect of Star Wars is its trite derivative story line, which we forgive because the rest of it is so mind-blowing.

Word of mouth. That phrase is hardly used in this book about how books, movies, music, etc. become popular. Thompson does mention "going viral" but only after eight hours of ignoring it, and then only to debunk it as a myth, and doing so solely by splitting a semantic hair, using the narrowest available definition of viral as it applies to how actual microbial viruses spread. And even that is wrong -- the definition he quotes is not limited to one-on-one transmission, it could be one-to-many. And good luck finding his definition -- I looked and couldn't locate it. Every definition I did find is a perfect metaphor for going viral over the internet.

Even more infuriating is his prime example of something going viral that wasn't really (by his narrow definition) truly viral -- the book 50 Shades of Grey. Somehow in Thompson's warped analysis, user-driven web sites FanFiction.net and GoodReads.com (primarily responsible for popularizing the book by initially generating its extensive word of mouth) don't qualify as viral, even though they are the very definition and pure incarnation of viral. His prime examples of why going viral is a myth represent, stunningly, the exact mechanics of going viral!

It goes on and on. A thing on vampires that never tries to explain the enduring popularity of vampires in pop culture. A thing on why certain Impressionist painters are so well known that never considers that maybe they were just that good, or that word of mouth resulted from the controversy they generated in their day. A thing on Swedish pop songs that attempts to make the point that it's all based on luck despite example after example of how it's all done by formula. A thing on gender roles in movies that has nothing at all to do with popularity.

And a whole chapter on how Facebook is becoming people's primary news source that fails to take into account its declining popularity among the young, who started leaving for other platforms before this book was written, once they figured out their parents had taken over Facebook. And that after a ludicrous chapter-long aside about teenagers that should've given the author a clue about why teens went to Facebook to begin with and why they've begun to abandon it, and how it will therefore never be a primary news source. (Now if he'd said Twitter, I'd have agreed with him.)

Just this morning I saw this Twitter meme: "What's one thing that you've watched/read/listened to and loved that you can't wait for a friend to consume so you can watch them freak out about how much they loved it?" (Typical answer: Hamilton.) Culture is a platform of social interaction. Something to talk about, something to identify and define common interests, something that makes you part of a social group of like minded people. Part of one chapter discusses exactly that, to Thompson's credit. But it misses the larger point: this is the whole ball game, it's the primary, maybe even the sole driver of word of mouth, which is the primary, maybe even the sole driver of why a hit is a hit.

You already know all that. You don't need Thompson's 11+ hours of pseudo-scientific drivel to help you reach that conclusion (which you have to do on your own, because he's totally distracted himself with his own pretzel logic). This is clickbait. Don't take the bait.

5 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jill Scholten
  • 29/08/2018

Interesting Read

If you’re a marketer or simply curious about how something becomes popular, you’ll love this book! Derek uses amazing examples from as early as the 1600s to as recent as 2016 to explain his thesis. The chapters can be a bit long and mundane from time to time but ultimately kept my attention and spiked my interest enough to want to finish the book.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 29/08/2018

High precision reading of pop culture's pulse

So much to bookmark/clip, you'll be revisiting for a long time to come. makes sense of the seemingly random popularity contests that society brings to light! Ultra smooth transitions provide thorough cohesive comprehension for any listener. Perfect blend of real-life situations meeting lab-tested theories, yielding useful insights. Must-read, indeed!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • NMwritergal
  • 17/03/2018

Answered questions I've always wondered about...

...and answered question I hadn't thought of. As well, it confirmed theories I had. I wish there had been more focus on books and not just music, art, etc. Still, very interesting.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.