Sunday, August 5, 2012

How to Write a Malcolm Gladwell Book

Loved this. 

news.yc Popular (@newsycombinator)
8/5/12 10:05 AM
How to Write a Malcolm Gladwell Book

"4) Now, change the title of that book to "ZAP."

Remember, no self-respecting businessman would buy "Chicken Soup for the Businessman's Soul." That's for softhearted wusses, and not enlightened hard-ass fact-seekers like your average self-conceived businessman. But "Zap" on an abstract background looks pretty serious.

5) Give it a subtitle that expresses (2) as if it's a Newtonian principle.

I'm gonna go with "Zap: The emerging science of how successful entrepreneurs innovate."

6) Go through all your chicken soup stories and put a reference to "Zap" at the beginning and end.

For example, let's say we're talking about Jeff Bezos. Simply start the section with "Jeff Bezos was headed for a life of run-of-the-mill middle class success. Then he was Zapped." Then, at the end, say "Bezos wasn't just clever. He was Zapped."

Now your chicken soup stories are magically transmuted from anecdotes to data. Colloquially, they are said to be "Gladwelled.""