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Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction
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Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction


Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson puts pop culture under the lens of science to investigate what every business, every artist, every person looking to promote themselves and their work is after: what makes a hit a hit.

Hit Makers is a groundbreaking investigation into the most valuable currency of the 21st century: people's attention. With incisive analysis and captivating storytelling, Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson uses the tools of economics and psychology to reveal the secrets of what makes a hit a hit. 

Drawing on ancient history and modern headlines—from vampire lore and the Mickey Mouse watch to Facebook and Games of Thrones—Thompson offers practical lessons for how anybody can make a hit and become a smarter consumer of culture. In doing so, he shows how the universe of attention is connected. An investigation into the science of pop music uncovers the secrets of JFK and Obama’s speechwriters. An exclusive new history of Fifty Shades of Grey reveals why "going viral" is a myth. HIT MAKERS not only investigates the cultural phenomena that make up headlines. It reveals the desires that make us all human. Hits enchant us, but they also hold up a mirror to our nature. 

We are living through an industrial revolution in attention. We used to simply play the hits. Now the hits play us back. Film, music, and media companies are using new tools to learn what makes their consumers tick. Hit Makers pulls back the curtain on this new world order to make all of us smarter about what people want and how things catch fire.

From the dawn of Impressionist art to the future of Snapchat, from small-scale Etsy entrepreneurs to the origin of Star Wars, Derek Thompson leaves no pet rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens—and where genius lives.

Title:Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages
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    Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction Reviews

  • Nelson Zagalo
    Jun 04, 2017

    Thompson writes very well, and is able to engage us in stories and facts. He's a journalist and uses this book to go much further than he could with just simple articles. You'll be surprised and gain ...

  • Maddie
    Jan 07, 2017

    I received an advance uncorrected proof of Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction from a Goodreads giveaway. I haven't made a habit of reading much non-fiction in the past, bec...

  • Jordan Weissmann
    Feb 06, 2017

    This is just a really excellent pop science book. Thompson is a talented story teller and lovely writer who breezily explains the psychological and economic forces that shape what we like. It's wide-r...

  • Bob
    Feb 27, 2017

    Summary: Explores what makes a hit, and explodes some of the myths around hits such as the idea of something going "viral."How does something become a "hit?" Anyone creating a work of art, propounding...

  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    Feb 07, 2017

    Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson is a very highly recommended examination of popularity of things and how and why they gained their status. This is an e...

  • Bobbie
    Feb 26, 2017

    What makes something in our culture popular? Thompson takes the question and rolls it around in his palms, kneading and stretching it with a range of different examples and stories and ideas. Although...

  • Laura Martin
    Feb 08, 2017

    This book is one of the most interesting books I've read in a long time. There are important lessons to be learned from this book such as MAYA and distribution models that can relate to any industry a...

  • Robin Tierney
    Feb 20, 2017

    Many good case studies and thoughtful observations. My notes (not a review) follow.Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of DistractionBy Derek ThompsonFacebook has irreversibly changed news...

  • Milka
    Dec 21, 2016

    The synopsis for Derek Thompson's book instantly caught my attention -- not only does it point towards a phenomenon that I find extremely interesting (how certain books, movies, songs, etc. become pop...

  • Rae
    Jun 05, 2017

    Hit Makers is everything I wanted You May Also Like to be, a readable inquiry into why people like the things they do en masse. Where You May Also Like was dry and I ultimately abandoned it, Hit Maker...