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

Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson's national best-selling book looks at the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Shattering the sentimental myths of hit-making that dominate pop culture and business, Thompson shows that nothing “goes viral,” that quality is insufficient for success, and that some of the most popular products in history were one bad break away from utter failure. The book touches on a range of subjects—yes, including Donald Trump—from the untold stories of how Impressionism and rock 'n' roll went mainstream to the philosophy behind the algorithms that govern Facebook and music-recommendation engines.

Festival: Aspen Ideas 2017

Watch and Listen: Arts

Wonder what you ever did before Hamilton came along? So do we! Join us for a lively and informal behind-the-scenes look... See more
Norman Lear is the prolific television writer and producer of stories about diverse American life—among them “All in... See more
Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson's national best-selling book looks at the hidden psychology of why we like... See more
The Afternoon of Conversation is the Aspen Ideas Festival's signature event and hosts an audience of 2,000 in the... See more
Oscar-winning filmmaker John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, All Is by My Side) is known for his uncompromising and thought-... See more
Meet Shimon, the marimba-playing robot that can improvise with fluency and skill exceeding that of most professional... See more

Pages