The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
The premise of this facile piece of pop sociology has built-in appeal: little changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or "tipping point" is reached, changing the world. Gladwell's thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors "spread just like viruses do" remains a metaphor as he follows the growth of "word-of-mouth epidemics" triggered with the help of three pivotal types. These are Connectors, sociable personalities who bring people together; Mavens, who like to pass along knowledge; and Salesmen, adept at persuading the unenlightened. (Paul Revere, for example, was a Maven and a Connector). Gladwell's applications of his "tipping point" concept to current phenomena--such as the drop in violent crime in New York, the rebirth of Hush Puppies suede shoes as a suburban mall favorite, teenage suicide patterns and the efficiency of small work units--may arouse controversy. For example, many parents may be alarmed at his advice on drugs: since teenagers' experimentation with drugs, including cocaine, seldom leads to hardcore use, he contends, "We have to stop fighting this kind of experimentation. We have to accept it and even embrace it." While it offers a smorgasbord of intriguing snippets summarizing research on topics such as conversational patterns, infants' crib talk, judging other people's character, cheating habits in schoolchildren, memory sharing among families or couples, and the dehumanizing effects of prisons, this volume betrays its roots as a series of articles for the New Yorker, where Gladwell is a staff writer: his trendy material feels bloated and insubstantial in book form.
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Gladwell’s The Tipping Point is a book that explains and discovers why certain products become popular or problems turn into epidemics. I listened to this book as an audiobook while at work. Gladwell narrated this book himself, the audio book only being 8 hours long it was easy to follow while doing other tasks at work. The way Gladwell researches and explains his theories really had me very interested throughout the book making it east to listen to in a few days. One of Gladwell’s examples explains how Hush Puppies went from almost going out of business, only being sold in smaller mom and popshops to being an overnight sensation. If you have ever wondered why a product or event “tips” in or out of popularity I would recommend this book, Gladwell covers three different ideas on how things tip. Gladwell chooses situations like, Paul Reveres midnight ride, how NYC cleaned up the streets, and Sesame Street vs. Blues Clues. If you ever wanted an easy dose of sociology this is a great book.
Book truly is eye opening. Worth reading if your interested in anything human psychology to marketing.
Gladwell’s insights and writing style are so compelling. This book is a delight.