Derek Thompson

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

Derek Thompson

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

What makes an idea or product popular? That's the big question that Derek Thompson investigates in his new book, Hit Makers. Thompson draws on stories of hits from pop culture history, from the impressionist art canon to modern Star Wars sequels. His thesis: familiarity beats novelty and distribution beats content. Along the way, he explains the media landscape that gave rise to Donald Trump, the "myth" of viral content, and why people like things that are new--but not that new.

Derek Thompson

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, where he writes about economics, labor markets and the media. He is a regular contributor to NPR's "Here and Now" and appears frequently on television, including CBS and MSNBC. He has appeared on numerous lists, including both Inc magazine’s and Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Time magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds.

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

In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives.

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