John List: The Voltage Effects

The Voltage Effect:
The premise behind the Voltage Effect is deceptively simple: No great idea is guaranteed to succeed. Be it a life-saving medical breakthrough, a new policy initiative, a cutting-edge innovation, or a bold plan for building a better world, translating an idea into widespread impact depends on one thing only: whether it can be replicated at scale.

Many college students will graduate into the world with a bold idea they hope to scale – whether by starting a company, through social advocacy or non-profit work, in the private sector, or elsewhere. The book draws on John’s years of behavioral science research, as well as examples from the realms of business, education, policymaking, and public health to present a data-driven approach to the science of scaling. In it he outlines the five hurdles that must be overcome for an idea to succeed at scale, as well as four research-based strategies to achieve maximum-impact scaling. Topics include: * Best experimental design practices to validate an idea (and reduce the risk of false positives) * Navigating the supply-side economics of scaling * Using marginal thinking to assess the viability of an enterprise at scale * Preventing the negative externalities that may emerge when an idea is implemented on a large scale * Using behavioural-economic incentives to spur widespread adoption of an idea or increase compliance with a policy or program * How we can apply the principles of scaling to drive change in our schools, communities, companies, and society at large.