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Jonah Berger Knows How to Make This Video Go Viral

Jonah Berger may know more about how to make content go viral than anyone on Earth. He thinks Malcolm Gladwell got it wrong and that Rebecca Black’s “Friday” is the worst song ever, but is that enough to make you click on this video?

When Jonah Berger was in college his grandmother suggested he read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, which explored how small things can make large impacts. While the book helped inspire Berger’s career, he says Gladwell got it wrong and didn’t back up his ideas with science.

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He likes making bold statements like that because they inspire emotional reactions, a key element in getting people to share content.

“Controversy encourages discussion,” Berger says.

His new book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, details how companies, individuals, and organizations can use word of mouth to help their products gain popularity.

Read more about Berger in Fast Company’s profile, hitting newsstands next week and online Monday. Read excerpts from Contagious here.

About the author

Vivek Kemp is Fast Company's Senior Video Producer. He has worked for NBC Network News, News Corporation's The Daily and the Naples Daily News.

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