List, John A.

Voltage effect : how to make good ideas great and great ideas scale - London : Penguin Business, 2022 - 265 p . ; 24 cm

Includes bibliographical references and index.

A leading economist answers one of today's trickiest questions: Why do some great ideas make it big while others fail to take off? "Scale" has become a favoured buzzword in the start-up world. But scale isn't just about accumulating more users or capturing more market share. It's about whether an idea that takes hold in a small group can do the same in a much larger one-whether you're growing a small business, rolling out a diversity and inclusion program, or delivering billions of doses of a vaccine. Translating an idea into widespread impact, says University of Chicago economist John A. List, depends on one thing only: whether it can achieve "high voltage"-the ability to be replicated at scale. In The Voltage Effect, List explains that scalable ideas share a common set of attributes, while any number of attributes can doom an unsalable idea. Drawing on his original research, as well as fascinating examples from the realms of business, policymaking, education, and public health, he identifies five measurable vital signs that a scalable idea must possess, and offers proven strategies for avoiding voltage drops and engineering voltage gains. You'll learn: How celebrity chef Jamie Oliver expanded his restaurant empire by focusing on scalable "ingredients" (until it collapsed because talent doesn't scale) Why the failure to detect false positives early on caused the Reagan-era drug-prevention program to backfire at scale How governments could deliver more services to more citizens if they focused on the last dollar spent How one education centre leveraged positive spill overs to narrow the achievement gap across the entire community Why the right set of incentives, applied at scale, can boost voter turnout, increase clean energy use, encourage patients to consistently take their prescribed medication, and more. By understanding the science of scaling, we can drive change in our schools, workplaces, communities, and society at large. Because a better world can only be built at scale.


Strategic planning
Political science
Success in business
Entrepreneurship Construction of a scale
Airline industry
Automobile safety
Benefit-cost analysis
Confirmation bias
Covid-19 pandemic
Diminishing marginal safety
False positives
Financial incentives
Genetic analysis
Opportunity cost
Situation, representativeness
Scientific wellness, social norms
Up-front cost
Voltage drops
Good ideas
Social impact

650.1 / LIS

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