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

Tipping Point


Anyone interested in how society and movements grow, change, and decline.


You’re probably gonna to miss out on some of the significance of this if you’re under 20 or so. That’s not to say that there aren’t some 15 year olds out there that wouldn’t completely get this book of course. I just believe that an older mind would probably appreciate this more on average.


The Tipping Point is fascinating.

Best Quote

A study at the University of Utah found that if you ask someone why he is friendly with someone else, he’ll say it is because he and his friend share similar attitudes. But if you actually quiz the two of them on their attitudes, you’ll find out that what they actually share is similar activities. We’re friends with the people we do things with, as much as we are with the people we resemble. We don’t seek out friends, in other words. We associate with the people who occupy the same small, physical spaces that we do.


Coming from a marketing background, this book is very interesting because it gives you some idea of how you might be able to take advantage of, or even create, a movement or a viral success. Malcolm Gladwell gives several examples of how ideas, diseases, crime, and more have spread through society and then abruptly stopped. He attributes these to the work of three different types of people:

  1. Connectors – These are the people that know everyone and are naturally able to bring others together.
  2. Mavens – These people have their fingers on the pulse of their fields. When you need to buy a new car, the car maven knows everything that anyone would ever need to know. When you want to know what’s been going on in the world recently, the current events maven can fill you in better than anyone.
  3. Salesmen – These folks are the most persuasive people you could meet. They can sell ideas, products, and more.
When you combine these people with the right ideas in the right circumstances and with the right surrounding events, the only thing they need in order to ensure success is stickiness. The ideas, products, or whatever else their selling has to stick with people. It has to be such a different or compelling idea that it grabs people’s attention. If it has that, the right combination of Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen can make it successul.

Last Word

The tipping point is the moment of critical mass when something crosses the threshold from indie trend to mainstream movement. You should read The Tipping Point if only for the fact that you need to be able to recognize societal changes that might affect you or your business…if not also being able to use them to your advantage.

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