Chip Heath and Karla Starr

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

This review was submitted by jmarkey77.

  • Premise: Communicating numbers using examples from our day to day lives gives proper scale, understandability, and incites action where raw numbers never will.
  • My thoughts: This book should be mandatory reading for anyone who has anything to do with communicating numbers. Example, take a moment to determine the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire? If you convert dollars to seconds a million seconds is 11.5 days. A billion seconds is 31.7 years. Jeff Bezos would be worth 5,959.6 years. Or about 1,400 years before the Pyramids of Egypt began construction.
  • Insights from the book:
    • SIMPLE PERSPECTIVE CUES: researchers at Microsoft found that adding one simple comparison sentence doubled how accurately users estimated statistics like population and area of countries.
    • VIVIDNESS: get perspective on the size of a nucleus by imagining a bee in a cathedral, or a pea in a racetrack, which are easier to envision than “1/100,000th of the size of an atom.”
    • CONVERT TO A PROCESS: capitalize on our intuitive sense of time (5 gigabytes of music storage turns into “2 months of commutes, without repeating a song”).
    • EMOTIONAL MEASURING STICKS: frame the number in a way that people already care about (“that medical protocol would save twice as many women as curing breast cancer”).