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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Paperback – January 7, 2002
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For example, Paul Revere was able to galvanize the forces of resistance so effectively in part because he was what Gladwell calls a "Connector": he knew just about everybody, particularly the revolutionary leaders in each of the towns that he rode through. But Revere "wasn't just the man with the biggest Rolodex in colonial Boston," he was also a "Maven" who gathered extensive information about the British. He knew what was going on and he knew exactly whom to tell. The phenomenon continues to this day--think of how often you've received information in an e-mail message that had been forwarded at least half a dozen times before reaching you.
Gladwell develops these and other concepts (such as the "stickiness" of ideas or the effect of population size on information dispersal) through simple, clear explanations and entertainingly illustrative anecdotes, such as comparing the pedagogical methods of Sesame Street and Blue's Clues, or explaining why it would be even easier to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the actor Rod Steiger. Although some readers may find the transitional passages between chapters hold their hands a little too tightly, and Gladwell's closing invocation of the possibilities of social engineering sketchy, even chilling, The Tipping Point is one of the most effective books on science for a general audience in ages. It seems inevitable that "tipping point," like "future shock" or "chaos theory," will soon become one of those ideas that everybody knows--or at least knows by name. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The thrust of the book is that there are three things that can converge to bring about dramatic and perhaps unexpectedly fast changes in our society. These are the context (the situational environment - especially when it's near the balance or 'tipping point'), the idea, and the people involved. His point is that very small changes in any or several of the context, the quality of the idea (which he calls 'stickiness', ie how well the idea sticks), or whether the idea reaches a very small group of key people can trigger a dramatic epidemic of change in society.
"In a given process or system some people matter more than others." (p.19). "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts." (p.33).
He divides these gifted people into three categories: Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople. "Sprinkled among every walk of life ... are a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances. They are Connectors." (p. 41). "I always keep up with people." (p. 44 quoting a "Connector").Read more ›
Gladwell's first example is the resurgence of the popularity of Hush Puppies, which had long been out of fashion, and were only sold in small shoe stores. Suddenly, a group of teenage boys in East Village, New York, found the cool to wear. Word-of-mouth advertising that these trend-setters were wearing the once-popular suede shoes set off an epidemic of fashion change, and boys all over America had to have the "cool" shoes.
Galdwell also examines the difference in personality it takes to trigger the change. For example, we all know of Paul Revere's famous ride, but how many of us know that William Dawes made a similar ride? The difference was that people listened to Revere and not to Dawes. Why? Revere knew so many different people. He knew who led which village, knew which doors to knock on to rouse the colonists. Dawes didn't know that many people and therefore could only guess which people to give his message.
There are several other phenomena that Gladwell examines, showing the small things that spark a change, from the dip in the New York City crime rate to the correlation between depression, smoking and teen suicide. If you want to change the world for the better, this book will give you an insight into the methods that work, and those that will backfire. It's all in knowing where to find The Tipping Point.
Jo @ MyShelf.Com
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very Interesting and thorough breakdown of epidemics from Paul Revere's Midnight ride, to syphilis and even crime waves. Read morePublished 5 hours ago by Amazon Customer
So far this book is pretty interesting. I am reading it for my Program Planning class at my university. The copy I got was in great condition! Read morePublished 2 days ago by Anna
Sometimes books like these are dry and boring. Gladwell does an excellent job using familiar examples to illustrate his points. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jennifer
I've read all of his books and this is my running favorite. GREAT book. You'll fall in love with this author.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great read! Love the way the author looks at things. It was very thought provoking. Anyone who is looking to see things in a different perspective should definitely read this book. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Nitesh
Great examples and context about seemingly small choices defining success or failure for many. I recommend this book as inspiration for putting just a little more thought into... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Jason Mead
Okay I am a HUGE Malcolm Gladwell fan. In fact his books, David and Goliath, and Outliers are truly the eye-opening page - turners they are claimed to be. However. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Brianna Rogers