Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Power of Small

The Power of Small posits that the small things we do can have oversize impacts. This thesis is backed up almost entirely by anecdotes. We hear about a woman with a boyfriend that would not commit. After she helped out a homeless man, he suddenly asked her to marry him. The "small thing" of helping the guy was the big trigger for the big life-changing event. We also hear of the IT guy who was interest sales. After getting a fancy haircut, he had confidence in himself and ended up becoming the top sales guy in the company.

There are many other anecdotes of small things that end up leading to life-changing events. Just being friendly to people you regularly meet can create connections and help you to achieve big goals. The small details can also help you to be more friendly. The failure to pay attention to details can also be devastating. An example was given of a prospective medical student who was rejected due to a typo in his application. After correcting it, he was finally admitted. There was also an ad-campaign that created all sorts of controversy because a black child was wearing a confederate uniform.

The science to back up these claims? Well, it is missing. The authors are, after all, advertising people. Science does not matter didly-squat if you cannot convince somebody to buy your product. Anecdotes rule the field. This book takes advantage of that and gives us a nice story. It is a fun read and contains plenty of entertaining tales. Some of it might even be applicable to life.

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