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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can…

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

by Malcolm Gladwell (Author)

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Title:The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Authors:Malcolm Gladwell (Author)
Info:Back Bay Books (2002), 301 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:psychology, sociology

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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 267 (next | show all)
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell was an insightful probe into the psychology of social epidemics. In it he proposes three rules of epidemics:

The Law of the Few

This Law is centered around three types of people:

- Mavens, who are the "information specialists" in a particular area;

- Connectors, who have large social networks and an ability to span multiple worlds; and

- Salesmen, who have the gift of persuading people and negotiating.

According the Gladwell, getting a "few" of these people to promote your idea is essential to starting an epidemic.


This concept suggests that sometimes a minor change in the way something is portrayed can have a huge impact if it renders its impact memorable.

The Power of Context

Sometimes none of the above factors are involved in the start of an epidemic. According to Gladwell, sometimes the strongest influence on people is their environment. If the social climate is right, some things just take off.

Gladwell concludes that social epidemics are often less than intuitive. In order to start an epidemic, you should study the environment and use an approach that will find a popular reception. You should then focus your resources on a few key areas. Finally, you should keep tweaking until you find something that works.

Underlying all of Malcolm Gladwell's propositions is a philosophy which states that man is capable of controlling his world. By simply "tinkering" with the presentation of an idea, we can change the world for good. Such an approach is essentially humanistic, believing that all people are inherently good and can shape their own destiny. Merely changing our environment and popularizing messages cannot save mankind; only God's grace can.

Still, The Tipping Point offers intriguing insight into human psychology. Christians would do well to understand these principles, while always acknowledging the sovereign hand of God, as we propagate a "gospel epidemic." ( )
  jcole208 | Sep 5, 2017 |
Interesting insight on how things change/become a success. ( )
  CherieKephart | Aug 3, 2017 |
Examines how ideas spread, from teenage smoking to crime to tennis-shoe fads.
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
About the author: quoting from the book's back cover, "Malcolm Gladwell is also the author of the #1 bestselling 'Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.' He was a reporter for the 'Washington Post' from 1987 to 1996, working first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for 'The New Yorker.'" About the book: Christopher Hawthorne, reviewer for 'San Francisco Chronicle, said of this work, "One of the year's most anticipated nonfiction titles. . .'The Tipping Point' is propelled by its author's voracious but always amiable curiosity. . . .Gladwell has a knack for rendering complex theories in clear, elegant prose, and he makes a charismatic tour guide."
  uufnn | Jul 1, 2017 |
I think the largest problem with this book is that it is too long. The basic idea was great and really interesting but Gladwell stretched it out too much. Towards the end I was bored and he was reaching. This would be much better as a 10-page paper, but of course that couldn't become a national bestseller now could it? ( )
  Emma_Manolis | Jun 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 267 (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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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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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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