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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (original 2000; edition 2002)

by Malcolm Gladwell

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16,075247110 (3.85)193
Member:jmcdbooks
Title:The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Authors:Malcolm Gladwell
Info:Back Bay Books (2002), Paperback, 301 pages
Collections:Read, Top 30 Business Leadership Books
Rating:***
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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell (2000)

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Showing 1-5 of 245 (next | show all)
Malcolm Gladwell examines the various factors involved in any trend reaching a tipping point, which is the point where they tip into being a trend on a larger scale. His first example is of the rise of the old-school, then unpopular Hush Puppy shoe which, during the 1990s made a huge comeback. In the book he talks about key people or groups involved in most of these things, Connectors, Mavens, Innovators et al who are of vital importance in any trend reaching a tipping point. It is a fascinating study on how this happens. I can't say that all of this was new to me, but it was a new presentation and a more complete package than other places I've read these things.

At first, I thought I might end up just liking it and giving it three stars, because the beginning didn't impress me a great deal, but I liked it okay. However, as the book went on I have to say either it got better or I just was in a better reading space, because I liked it quite a bit.

However, as with any study like this, you have to take some of it with a grain of salt. For example, I easily knew enough people IRL in the surname test to be a Connector as I am gregarious & love to get to know people, but I'd hardly call myself a Connector as I don't pass on trends or recommend restaurants, nor do I think people take me as an authority in that sort of way. I don't spend much time on Facebook and only just joined Twitter. As much as my friends loved my personal statement of wearing a certain hat one year in high school (one unique enough to be TMI, and yet fit the decade I went to high school) none went out and tried to imitate the style. Instead, after that year it became part of my mime costume for the next number of years (so if you're a facebook friend you can take a look at it if you're on there & think of it, but that photo was taken the following year in California with different friends). Now had I lived in a different place than a small town where everyone wore one of 2 or 3 brands of the same style jeans (that's how it was back then, I kid you not--greasers, cool kids, jocks, et al weren't known by their different jeans) etc, perhaps it would have been different, but if I were a betting person, I wouldn't bet on it.

Nevertheless, it's a worthwhile read. It's not what I originally planned for this a tag in the play book tag group here, but I found it browsing the Sociology section of our local library. ( )
1 vote Karin7 | Jan 21, 2016 |
An interesting look at how word of mouth epidemics work. Covers diverse subject from Paul revere's ride to why Sesame Street and Blue's Clues work. I found this book to be very informative. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
The Tipping Point is an interesting look at what makes trends "tip" from obsure to viral. The author examines case studies such as what made Sesame Street and Blues Clues so sucessful, what caused crime to drop in NY City, and the popularity of Hush Puppies in the 90s. I found some of the examples interesting and insightful, but other examples seemed like the author was trying to impose his ideas on a situation rather than the situation really illustrating the point independently.The first half of the book really kept my attention, but the second half started to bore me. The author either repeated information so much that I thought enough all ready, or it was hard to see the connection to the points the author was trying to make. Overall, the ideas presented were interesting and can be used to examine problems from a different angle. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
This is a typical Gladwell book. He starts off talking about one small incident and then bada bing bada boom he has explained the complexities of the world. This book is about how ideas take off whether it be clothes or books or art. He goes into great detail talking about Airwalk shoes and how they tried hard for many years to stay on the front edge of culture and would make their advertising help mirror the cutting edge. ( )
  JWarrenBenton | Jan 4, 2016 |
This is a typical Gladwell book. He starts off talking about one small incident and then bada bing bada boom he has explained the complexities of the world. This book is about how ideas take off whether it be clothes or books or art. He goes into great detail talking about Airwalk shoes and how they tried hard for many years to stay on the front edge of culture and would make their advertising help mirror the cutting edge. ( )
  JWarrenBenton | Jan 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 245 (next | show all)
This is a test.
added by timspalding | editTesting, Testing Testing (Jan 1, 2001)
 
I wish Malcolm Gladwell had chosen to use his considerable skills as a journalist to describe more examples of actual tipping points. In reaching instead for theory, he reaches well beyond where he, or anyone else, can safely travel.
 
What Mr. Gladwell has to say is instructive. If he hasn't got all the answers, he certainly offers a fresh way of looking at the problems.
 
This is a test.
added by timspalding | editTesting, Testing Testing (Jan 1, 2000)
 
Gladwell's narrative voice is so chummy and seductive, it's easy to get drawn into his worldview.
 

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Malcolm Gladwellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sandin, GunnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Hush Puppies -- the classic American brushed-suede shoes with lightweight crepe sole -- the Tipping Point came somewhere between late 1994 and early 1995.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in out society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316346624, Paperback)

"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 behaviors spread just like viruses do." Although anyone familiar with the theory of memetics will recognize this concept, Gladwell's The Tipping Point has quite a few interesting twists on the subject.

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:45 -0400)

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An introduction to the Tipping Point theory explains how minor changes in ideas and products can increase their popularity and how small adjustments in an individual's immediate environment can alter group behavior.

(summary from another edition)

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