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

David Brooks writes about character. Aaron Sorkin writes about characters. The opinionator and consummate storyteller... See more
Kicking of the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival, Walter Isaacson and David G. Bradley are joined by a variety of speakers who... See more
The groundbreaking virtuoso organist and 2015 Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence will speak with entertainment-industry... See more
Our signature event, the Afternoon of Conversation will host an audience of more than 2,000 in the Benedict Music Tent... See more
As the Western media reacted to the horrific attacks on the office of Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher deli in Paris,... See more
Two of America’s most powerful poetic voices join with the Aspen Student Poets to explore how their art can tackle some... See more