Hit Makers: The science of popularity in the age of distraction by Derek Thompson
Published: February 7th 2017 by Penguin Press
Genre: Science, popular science, non-fiction, sociology, economics
“The evolutionary explanation for the exposure effect is simple: if you recognize an animal or plant, then it hasn’t killed you yet.”
I’m sure I could quote this book to death, but I think it would be better you just read it for yourself. It is full of scientific facts, anecdotes and history, wrapped in terrific storytelling. Never a dull minute or dwelling on a subject for too long or dragging a story out into boredom, it balances so perfectly between what you need to know and what you want to know. And while the primary premise is quite simple, people like what they recognize with a hint of surprise, this book manages to play on exactly that throughout!
It first introduces me to this fact, then twists that fact in all directions and gives me several ways to view that fact. And I am floored! More often than not I found myself going “yeah” and “omg that’s true” and nodding along to the tekst, calling my friends and having them go “omg that’s so true!”
And then reaching the chapter that explains that word of mouth shouldn’t be underestimated, and then realizing that, I am behaving just as explained, because I enjoyed what I was reading, because I was recognizing it in myself.
Another fact that I found hysterical, was the one about the “hipsters” also known as the ones that refuse to like anything that’s popular and shy away from popular opinions. It gave me peace of mind, that they too, have a category. I’ve always fallen on the side of the hits and I’ve always gotten flack for it. Now, I am more comfortable with my own opinions and taste buds, knowing WHY I like the things I like, and knowing that it’s basically human nature and that it makes me a survivor of sorts. And if you just can’t stand anything, just because other people love it, well, then you fall under the category “haters gonna hate!”
I cannot recommend this book enough, because it taught me so many things, as well as it made me think and put me in touch with myself and entertained me along the way. That’s a rare find.