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Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of…
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Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life (utgåvan 2019)

av Rory Sutherland (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
15220183,201 (3.51)3
HOW DOES MAGIC HAPPEN? The Ogilvy advertising legend-"one of the leading minds in the world of branding" (NPR)-explores the art and science of conjuring irresistible products and ideas. "A breakthrough book. Wonderfully applicable to about everything in life." -Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan "Veins of wisdom emerge regularly and brilliantly from these pages. Don't miss this book." -Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence Why is Red Bull so popular, though everyone-everyone!-hates the taste? Humans are, in a word, irrational, basing decisions as much on subtle external signals (that little blue can) as on objective qualities (flavor, price, quality). The surrounding world, meanwhile, is irreducibly complex and random. This means future success can't be projected on any accounting spreadsheet. To strike gold, you must master the dark art and curious science of conjuring irresistible ideas: alchemy. Based on thirty years of field work inside the largest experiment in human behavior ever conceived-the forever-unfolding pageant of consumer capitalism-Alchemy, the revolutionary book by Ogilvy advertising legend Rory Sutherland, whose TED talks have been viewed nearly seven million times, decodes human behavior, blending leading-edge scientific research, absurdly entertaining storytelling, deep psychological insight, and practical case studies from his storied career working on campaigns for AmEx, Microsoft, and others. Heralded as "one of the leading minds in the world of branding" by NPR and "the don of modern advertising" by The Times, Sutherland is a unique thought leader, as comfortable exchanging ideas with Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman and Richard Thaler (both interviewed in these pages) as he is crafting the next product launch. His unconventional and relentlessly curious approach has led him to discover that the most compelling secrets to human decision-making can be found in surprising places: What can honey bees teach us about creating a sustainable business? How could budget airlines show us how to market a healthcare system? Why is it better to be vaguely right than precisely wrong? What might soccer penalty kicks teach us about the dangers of risk-aversion? Better "branding," Sutherland reveals, can also be employed not just to sell products, but to promote a variety of social aims, like getting people to pay taxes, improving public health outcomes, or encouraging more women to pursue careers in tech. Equally startling and profound, Sutherland's journey through the strange world of decision making is filled with astonishing lessons for all aspects of life and business.… (mer)
Medlem:Andibook
Titel:Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
Författare:Rory Sutherland (Författare)
Info:William Morrow (2019), 384 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek (inactive)
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life av Rory Sutherland

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Visa 1-5 av 23 (nästa | visa alla)
Charming, breezy melding of behavioral econ, advertising, drollery, etc. One of his TED Talks put into longer book form. ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
I really enjoyed Rory Sutherland's appearances on a few different podcasts. Thus, I was really excited to read this book. But, like a lot of business books, the point of the book was made in the introduction and the rest of the book felt like fluff.

This book wasn't for me. ( )
  reenum | Jun 24, 2021 |
Disclaimer: My copy of Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life is an uncorrected proof that I acquired from LibraryThing's May 2019 "early reviewers" batch. I presume that the final published text doesn't differ significantly from this proof.

Rory Sutherland's Alchemy is quite the frustration. The basic underlying premise that logical calculation and deduction doesn't solve all problems, sometimes requiring occasional bold and seemingly illogical excursions outside the box, is valid, insightful, and increasingly relevant to life today. Sutherland's approach to exploring and explaining that premise is a careless unsubstantiated mess.

Sutherland's approach largely boils down to declaring all methods of logic and statistics and science to be deeply ineffectual and wrong in order to highlight cases in which outside-the-box boldness and serendipity (idea "alchemy"?) are better or more effective. He does admit from time to time that it's not that simple or absolute, but maintains this tone across much of the book nonetheless.

While this approach does effectively spotlight an interesting path of illogcal "alchemy" and "magic" solutions, it also severely undermines the spotlighter's credibility by seemingly condemning all logical methodologies in comparison as ineffective and without value. His apparently huge survivorship bias concerning anecdotes of successful "ah-ha" discoveries doesn't help.

Sutherland fails to consider that human progress may not be the result of occasional victories of "good" illogcal creativity over "bad" methodical logic, but rather of a perpetual complex interplay between the two.

Other books I've read recently that do a much better job of exploring this same underlying logic-vs-creativity (and related computer-vs-brain) territory include:
• Being Wrong, by Kathryn Schulz
• Scatterbrain, by Henning Beck ( )
  Thogek | Jan 5, 2020 |
With exception of the obvious bias the author has in favor of vaping, this was a very enjoyable book. It is a pleasure to look at problems from different perspectives and this book is largely about reframing questions to find different solutions. ( )
  Jerry.Yoakum | Dec 24, 2019 |
Smug business book attuned to the irrationalities of others but not so much to the author’s own (the kind of guy who says “Donald Trump can solve many problems that the more rational Hillary Clinton simply wouldn’t have been able to address” because threatening to build a wall between the US and Mexico will work better than ordinary trade negotiations—“you may hate it, but it works”—sure, that looks like a good prediction). Also thinks that you should listen to immigration officers about immigration and street cops about crime over sociologists because they know reality; oddly enough he doesn’t also say that airline pilots should be designing airplane engines or farmers making climate policy and I think the examples are revealing. (Input into design, especially interface design, is one thing—what the policy should be is quite another.) What made me most contemptuous was the conclusion he drew from the following graph: he presented data that when 3 women and 1 man are in a finalist hiring pool, the likelihood of hiring a woman was 67%. When it was 2 women and 2 men, the chances were 50-50, and when it was 1 woman and 3 men, the chances were 0%. And the conclusion he drew was that it’s wrong to say people are biased against minorities—he apparently in all seriousness thought that this evidence showed a bias against “anyone in a minority of one.” Tell that to the dude with the much greater than random chance of being hired in his minority or the woman with the 0% chance in hers. If you celebrate irrationality, you may end up pretty stupidly irrational. So too with the claim “We know how to design physical objects to fit the shape of the human hand quite well”—tell that to women like Zeynep Tufceki struggling to make today’s huge smartphones work with on-average smaller hands; the gaps in our knowledge and attention are not evenly distributed. And he thinks “women are let off rather lightly” for spending so much time and money on grooming; “If men spent three trillion dollars a year on something totally irrational—building model train sets, say—they would be excoriated for it.” If you can live your life without considering the financial burden and the misogyny deployed against women for painting our faces (or not painting our faces), then maybe you aren’t as savvy as you think?

If you can stand it, some entertaining marketing anecdotes about irrational techniques that work (e.g., giving a donation envelope that’s open on the short end instead of the long one, making it look more appropriate for holding cash or checks). I learned that smoother shapes taste sweeter, affecting the appropriate shape of a chocolate bar. There was also advice for selling an environmentally superior detergent—people don’t think that concentrated formulas can be as effective, and they definitely think environmentally superior formulas work worse, so you might have to change the marketing to deemphasize the environment, or change the format from liquid to powder, or add intricacy—colored flecks “will make people believe it is more effective even if they do not know what role these flecks perform.” So too with mixtures of liquids, gels, and powders: they seem more effective per unit. So too with adding effort: If the product requires people to mix it with water first, or to mix two separate agreements, that restores our faith in its efficacy. He leans hard into the idea of costly signals as evolutionarily appealing—showing you can spend on advertising is thus the best form of advertising. And perhaps oddly, he agrees with progressive activists that behavior changes first, before attitudes, which change in response. ( )
  rivkat | Nov 11, 2019 |
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HOW DOES MAGIC HAPPEN? The Ogilvy advertising legend-"one of the leading minds in the world of branding" (NPR)-explores the art and science of conjuring irresistible products and ideas. "A breakthrough book. Wonderfully applicable to about everything in life." -Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan "Veins of wisdom emerge regularly and brilliantly from these pages. Don't miss this book." -Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence Why is Red Bull so popular, though everyone-everyone!-hates the taste? Humans are, in a word, irrational, basing decisions as much on subtle external signals (that little blue can) as on objective qualities (flavor, price, quality). The surrounding world, meanwhile, is irreducibly complex and random. This means future success can't be projected on any accounting spreadsheet. To strike gold, you must master the dark art and curious science of conjuring irresistible ideas: alchemy. Based on thirty years of field work inside the largest experiment in human behavior ever conceived-the forever-unfolding pageant of consumer capitalism-Alchemy, the revolutionary book by Ogilvy advertising legend Rory Sutherland, whose TED talks have been viewed nearly seven million times, decodes human behavior, blending leading-edge scientific research, absurdly entertaining storytelling, deep psychological insight, and practical case studies from his storied career working on campaigns for AmEx, Microsoft, and others. Heralded as "one of the leading minds in the world of branding" by NPR and "the don of modern advertising" by The Times, Sutherland is a unique thought leader, as comfortable exchanging ideas with Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman and Richard Thaler (both interviewed in these pages) as he is crafting the next product launch. His unconventional and relentlessly curious approach has led him to discover that the most compelling secrets to human decision-making can be found in surprising places: What can honey bees teach us about creating a sustainable business? How could budget airlines show us how to market a healthcare system? Why is it better to be vaguely right than precisely wrong? What might soccer penalty kicks teach us about the dangers of risk-aversion? Better "branding," Sutherland reveals, can also be employed not just to sell products, but to promote a variety of social aims, like getting people to pay taxes, improving public health outcomes, or encouraging more women to pursue careers in tech. Equally startling and profound, Sutherland's journey through the strange world of decision making is filled with astonishing lessons for all aspects of life and business.

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