What Sells, Endures and Consumes Us

How do ideas spread? The question has intrigued social psychologists as well as marketers for decades now.
How does a book become a bestseller, a feeling swell into a movement, or a product grow into a runaway hit? If the answers were easy to get at, Midases everywhere would be turning fleeting thoughts into gold.

This edition of Viewpoint drills into the factors involved while also probing related issues. Stories are, of course, key to the process but not entirely in the way we’ve always believed. Two of our authors argue that our modern world needs more ideas with greater staying power. After all, can an idea be truly impactful if it burns out as quickly as it catches fire? Technology is now a huge enabler. But it is also a medium for ‘hooking’ users to the point where it is hard for them to opt out. One of our contributors asks if there are ethical concerns here that technologists need to address.