When Facts Don’t Matter are Ethics Important? WIN BIGLY by Scott Adams

Win Bigly

win bigly coverPersuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter
By: Scott Adams
Narrator: Scott Adams
PRHA |Imprint: Penguin Audio 

Genre: Psychology – Social Psychology

Release Date: October 31, 2017 

9 Hours

I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


If you watched the entire election cycle and concluded that Trump was nothing but a lucky clown, you missed one of the most important perceptual shifts in the history of humankind. I’ll fix that for you in this book.”

Adams was one of the earliest public figures to predict Trump’s win, doing so a week after Nate Silver put Trump’s odds at 2 percent in his FiveThirtyEight.com blog. The mainstream media regarded Trump as a novelty and a sideshow. But Adams recognized in Trump a level of persuasion you only see once in a generation.

Trump triggered massive cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias on both the left and the right. We’re hardwired to respond to emotion, not reason. We might listen to 10 percent of a speech—a hand gesture here, a phrase there—and if the right buttons are pushed, we decide we agree with the speaker and invent reasons to justify that decision after the fact.

The point isn’t whether Trump was right or wrong, good or bad. Win Bigly goes beyond politics to look at persuasion tools that can work in any setting—the same ones Adams saw in Steve Jobs when he invested in Apple decades ago. For instance:

·  If you need to convince people that something is important, make a claim that’s directionally accurate but has a big exaggeration in it. Everyone will spend endless hours talking about how wrong it is and will remember the issue as high priority.
·  Stop wasting time on elaborate presentation preparations. Inside, you’ll learn which components of your messaging matter, and where you can wing it.
·  Planting simple, sticky ideas (such as “Crooked Hillary”) is more powerful than stating facts. Just find a phrase without previous baggage that grabs your audience at an emotional level.

Adams offers nothing less than “access to the admin passwords to human beings.” This is a must read if you care about persuading others in any field—or if you just want to resist the tactics of emotional persuasion when they’re used on you.


My Take Oblong Shaped

Hey, if you are a Conservative Republican, voted for Trump or believe that President Obama isn’t a citizen, then you should run out and buy this book without even reading my review. And, actually, I don’t want to fight with anyone so I would prefer you did not.

This is my opinion of this book. 

Thirty-five years ago, at 22, I got an MA in Rhetoric and Communication and I studied messaging with a ground-breaking professor. who developed an extremely precise methodology for designing messaging.  Those years studying and working for my professor changed the way I look at media and communication. I bring it up only because Mr. Adams often reminds of of his education,  expertise and brilliance. Like Mr. Adams, I am pointing at my creds.

This is one method he uses and tells us about in his book, WIN BIGLY.

A couple of years ago, I saw Trump’s use of media at the start of his campaign and told my friends I thought he could take the election.  My friends thought I was wrong and over the course of the primaries and election they were able to convince me.

As a liberal, a democrat, and Clinton supporter I wish I had been wrong.  But even I didn’t see Trump’s methodology the way Adams does. He is insightful, and methodical and, in my opinion, applauds Trump as not only “a master persuader,” but as some kind of hero. He honors him for gaming the system. At first Adams tells us how liberal he himself is, and yet, he eventually jumped on Trump’s bandwagon. He also tells us he never votes and describes its futility. He tells us he believes Trump uses extreme views and message to appeal and win but that he has backed away from his most extreme views (has he?).

Adams thinks highly of Trump, and even more highly of himself.  Of course as someone who espouses himself a brilliant persuader and analyst, he has to be confident.  And, he does offer a lot of methods one can use to be persuasive. 

But, when I was in school, we always discussed ethical responsibility of the persuader and Adams does not.   As long as Trump was persuasive he was going to win and that’s what matters.

Adams also self narrates.  His voice is not unpleasant, although I found his message to be so. And, I thought he was extremely self-aggrandizing and loved the sound of his own voice.  We do know a couple of things really well by the end: He’s an expert, he’s really rich, and he uses his persuasion techniques at work and in his personal relationships.

To be fair, Scott Adams id well-educated and successful and through his cartoon, Dilbert, is the champion of the common man.

The writing follows the tell them what you are  going to tell them, and then tell them and then tell them what you told them. 

I was disappointed.  I did not know of his attachment to the right, the red, the GOP. My fault; but I thought I was going to get an analysis not a paean to the deal maker. 

If you are in politics, marketing, or sales, then this book offers you a great way to learn about some sensible techniques.  If you love Trump or Adams,  or want to win at all costs, then you will find a comfortable read or listen.  But, if you are expecting a balanced, academic, analysis of the last presidential election then you will be disappointed.


I wanted to include that one thing he does that worked for me was point out where HRC’s campaign missed the boat – for example, her slogan design.

Links Blue Horizontal


Author’s Blog: http://blog.dilbert.com/

Audible Pre-Order: https://www.audible.com/pd/Comedy/Win-Bigly-Audiobook/B0751PLTH2/

Publisher: http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/558312/win-bigly/