Monday, April 25, 2016

2 Monkeys Wrote 50 Headlines: See Which Worked Best

When it comes to novel ideas, less isn't more, Adam Grant says in Originals.

"Many people fail to achieve originality because they generate a few ideas and then obsess about refining them to perfection," Grant says.

But originality take tonnage.

"Quantity is the most predictable path to quality," Grants says.

He cites the case of two copywriters employed by Upwworthy.

Each wrote headlines for a video depicting monkeys receiving food as a reward.

Some were good. One was gold.

The headline "Remember Planet of the Apes? It's Closer than Your Think," for example, drew 8,000 viewers.

The headline "2 Monkeys Were Paid Unequally: See What Happens Next" drew 500,000.

Upworthy in fact has a house rule: You must write 25 headlines.

You need to unearth tons of debris to discover a diamond.

"It's only after we've ruled out the obvious that we have the greatest freedom to consider the more remote possibilities," Grant says.

The first twenty-four headlines may be lousy, but the twenty-fifth "will be a gift from the headline gods."
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