The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

I am always in the hunt for a good book. This book has been referenced to in one of the seminars I attended. Since then, I've always been curious about it. I could not find an epub copy and so I bought the actual hard-printed book. I know it sounds so "jurassic"! I always loved the smell of ink on paper.  It makes me feel geeky and happy holding one. ^_^

What does Gladwell mean by a Tipping Point? Tipping Point is the point in time when a situation drastically changes. Everything from that point onwards is in full speed. The book describes it as the "boiling point". In this book, Gladwell presented his theory of the what makes a situation tip. He explained it so well in vivid real-world examples and with references to studies of several behavioral scientists/psychologists. It is very interesting. I am aware of some of his references from watching Discovery Channel and NatGeo channels. He calls his list as the three rules of epidemics. It applies to anything!... marketing campaign, advertisement, education, religion.. anything! 

  1. Law of the Few states that causing an epidemic doesn't have to be costly and massive. It only has to be strategic. It is dependent on the involvement of a few people with rare set of interactive gifts. Who are they?
    • Connectors. They are the people in the community who are very sociable and know a large number of people. They know people across different cultures, and profession. They are the mediators, the "connectors" of a person to another magnified 100x. They know more people than the average. An example of a Connector is Paul Revere in his midnight ride that caused the American revolution.
    • Mavens are information brokers. They share and trade what they know. They are the geeks. According to Gladwell, Maven is someone who wants to solve other people's problems by solving his own. They understand details of information and have very good ability to communicate. They are the people who win you with their brains. They reason out with you. An example of a Maven is Mark Albert.
    • Salesmen are persuaders. They are charismatic people with powerful persuasion skills. You may disagree with them at first. Before the end of your conversation, you'd realize he won you over. I know several great salesmen. Maxwell's example of a Salesman is Tom Gau.
    • The Law of the Few states that the messenger matters.
  2. Stickiness Factor states that the message also matters. The specific quality that makes a message successful is its stickiness. An advertisement needs to be seen 6 times before it sticks to the audience. A change needs to be communicated 8 times before it actually sinks in to the receiver as the New Reality Curve would say. This is the idea of repitition. Another way is by getting the audience involved like an interactive advertising system. Have contests and prizes. With that said, I should have some giveaways and freebies for you in my blog soon. So watch for it! :) The Stickiness Factor say that in order to be able to spark epidemics, ideas have to be memorable and move us to action.
  3. Power of Context states that epidemics are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which they occur. Here, Gladwell mentioned the Broken Windows theory. The theory states that if a window is broken and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge. Soon, more windows will be broken and the whoel anarchy will spread to the neighboring area. The Power of Context says that what really matters are little things. Gladwell also mentioned here the Rule of under 150. It states that under a crowd of 150, orders can be implemented and unruly behavior is controlled on the basis of personal loyalties and direct man-to-man contacts. By manipulating the size of the group, we can improve its receptivity to new ideas.

I recommend that you read the book too. My summary does not even do justice of how Gladwell explained his list one by one. I'm sure you will find the book interesting as well. ^_^

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