The Voltage Effect - How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale

Ideas and scaling

“Scale” is probably a term you’ve heard before—a buzzword amongst Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and tech start-up circles. But at its core, “to scale” simply means to achieve a desired outcome when you move from a small group—of customers, students, or citizens—to a much larger one. And it’s not just for start-ups. Scaling ideas underpins all social and technological progress, since, as List says, “the innovations that change the world are those that reach the largest number of people.”

In his new book The Voltage Effect How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale, List reveals why some ideas take off (or scale) and why others fall flat using a mix of original research and real-world anecdotes from working with companies like Uber, Lyft, and Tinder. His ideas are brought to life in this engaging presentation with actionable, science-backed take-aways for leaders, teams, and organizations in all sectors looking to take their ideas to the next level.


Note: Students do not need to register for the event.

Oslo lecture

The lecture will also be held at Telenor in Oslo 19 May, and NHH alumni are welcome to join. Please register below.

Venue: Auditorum Voice, Telenor Expo-FBU, Building E, Snarøyveien 30, 1360 Fornebu.


  • 08:30 Breakfast
  • 09:00 Lecture
  • 09:45 Q/A

Read more on NHH Bulletin (in Norwegian)

About John List

John A. List is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. His research includes over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and several published textbooks. Previous to The Voltage Effect, he co-authored the international best seller, The Why Axis, in 2013.

His research focuses on combining field experiments with economic theory to deepen our understanding of the economic science. In the early 1990s, List pioneered field experiments as a methodology for testing behavioral theories and learning about behavioral principles that are shared across different domains. To obtain data for his field experiments, List has made use of several different markets, including charitable fundraising activities, the sports trading card industry, the ride-share industry, and the education sector, to highlight a few. This has led to collaborative work with several different schools and charities, as well as firms including: Lyft, Uber, United Airlines, Virgin Airlines, Humana, Sears, Kmart, Facebook, Google, General Motors, Tinder, Citadel, Walmart, and several non-profits.