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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference - Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

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Malcolm Gladwell

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Pages: 288 (Paperback)

ISBN: 0349113467

Pub: Abacus

Pub date: 2001-08-01 Sales Rank: 240

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Editorial Review:

"The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life," writes Malcolm Gladwell, "is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread just like viruses do." Although anyone familiar with the theory of mimetics will recognise this concept, Gladwell's The Tipping Point has quite a few interesting twists on the subject.

For example, Paul Revere was able to galvanise 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

Reader Reviews:

5/5 stars

Fabulous! (0/0 people found this helpful)

This book is fabulous: fascinating, varied, well written, with curious information about just about everything throughout; the world of the mysterious and the common, fused into one surprising whole.
His next book, BLINK, is also an amazing work. Try it, too!

5/5 stars

The Tipping Point - author Malcolm Gladwell (0/0 people found this helpful)

Excellent and thought provoking.

Malcolm Gladwell's writing stimulates the mind and makes one never want to stop learning.

5/5 stars

This book will open your eyes (0/0 people found this helpful)

In Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point, one of his four great books, he explains how ideas, products, behaviours suddenly become the way people think and do things, the items that become desirable, become the behaviours of society, spreading through a population like an epidemic.

He tells us how beliefs can change quickly, how one person can have more influence on change than another, giving specific examples to substantiate his ideas, for instance how Paul Revere got the American colonists around 1773 to become organised against the British, how the Airwalk footwear became fashion, how crime waves were reduced in New York City.

He explains that in any situation or market there will be four major influences.

There will be the "Market Mavens", people who passes vital information to others about their knowledge, perhaps about good prices, good deals.

There will be "Connectors", people who know people who know people. There is a theory, often called "the six degrees of separation", that says it only needs a chain of six people to get information from person A to person B, from yourself for example to the Queen of England.

The "Stickiness" factor, how a message or information will stay in the mind, say like a slogan, and advertisement, how something will become an "anchor" in NLP terms.

The forth is "Context", how ideas or products rely on the time and place change takes place, and the conditions and circumstances when they occur.

Using examples though-out, this book is easy to follow, a must for those in marketing and places of influence, and a must for those of us who are manipulated by others, by governments, by media, radio, TV and newspapers.

The book will open your eyes.

5/5 stars

Phenomenal (0/0 people found this helpful)

Every book I've read by Malcolm Gladwell has so far been terrific, and this is no exception. He makes sometimes complicated ideas extremely easy to understand and does so by telling stories relating to the topic. His book offers simple explanations for many characteristics of human nature and social influences that are largely overlooked, often because they are so minute as to be considered unimportant. Tipping point shows that actually, the small things matter largely.

1/5 stars

a bit random (1/1 people found this helpful)

I bought this book because friends recommended it to me.
I must say though that I'm very disappointed with it. Though there might be a couple of good ideas in general in there, I really can't get into this book at all. I constantly find myself arguing with the author because the logic and line of thinking applied is extremely random and even twisted around just to support his theory. I don't think this book is neither helpful nor entertaining. To me it is just an annoying time waster. Sorry.

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Categories places this book into the following categories:

Books -> Subjects -> Society, Politics & Philosophy -> Psychology Textbooks
Books -> Subjects -> Society, Politics & Philosophy -> Social Sciences -> General AAS
Books -> Refinements -> Language (feature_browse-bin) -> English
Books -> Refinements -> Format (binding_browse-bin) -> Paperback
Books -> Refinements -> Font Size (format_browse-bin) -> Regular Size
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