trends | January 05, 2017

Popularity Isn’t Luck. It’s a Science. Derek Thompson’s New Book Hit Makers Explains How Major Trends Take Off

Why do some songs, apps, games, films, or celebs blow up, while others flop? To Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson, “going viral” is more than blind luck. In his new book Hit Makers, he reveals the hidden web of power, influence, business smarts—and even genius—that makes culture happen.

In Hit Makers (coming Feb. 7), Thompson surveys trendsetting with the same perceptive voice that shines through in his Atlantic articles. Here are just a few of the curiosities explored: What do ESPN’s programming and The Weeknd’s choruses have in common? Why is the year 1991 almost solely responsible for the way modern pop music sounds? And why are all of today’s Hollywood blockbusters sequels and reboots? 


Essentially, why do we like what we like?


In an age where distraction reigns and attention is our greatest commodity, what does it take to make your song, your product, your idea a hit? Thompson’s book is valuable fare for any business, marketer, or creative looking to understand the science and psychology of mass popularity.


Here’s some of the early press for Hit Makers:


“Derek Thompson’s Hit Makers is a sharply observed history of the megahit, from the 13th-century tunic craze to the iPhone, tracing the strange ever-changing mixture of genius, dumb luck, business savvy, and network math that turns an obscurity into a worldwide smash.”

Jordan Ellenberg, New York Times bestselling author of How Not to Be Wrong


“Enthralling— full of ‘aha’ moments about why some ideas soar and others never get off the ground. This book picks up where The Tipping Point left off.” 

— Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take


"What makes one song hit, and another, flop, one book a success and the other, fodder for the discount bins? That's the mystery Derek Thompson probes with his characteristic verve, wit, and insight in Hit Makers. It's an engrossing read that doesn't settle for easy answers, and one that seems destined to become one of the hits that Thompson so deftly analyzes." 

Maria Konnikova, New York Times bestselling author of The Confidence Game


“Derek Thompson’s Hit Makers is a terrific read—a sparkling combination of fascinating stories, cutting-edge science, and superb business advice. Just as he does when he writes for The Atlantic, Thompson shares more interesting ideas per paragraph than practically any other writer today. Hit Makers is a bible for anyone who’s ever tried to promote practically anything, from products, people, and ideas, to books, songs, films, and TV shows.”

Adam Alter, New York Times Bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink and Irresistible


To hear Hit Makers author Derek Thompson speak at your next conference or event, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive representative for speaking engagements. 


Up Next

religion | January 04, 2017