Why did crime in New York drop in the mid-90s? Why is teenage smoking out of control? Why are television shows like Sesame Street good at teaching kids how to read?
In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. 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.
Gladwell uncovers the personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious.
The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message: that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world.
©2007 Malcolm Gladwell; (P)2007 Hachette Audio
"Gladwell, a New Yorker staff writer, offers an incisive and piquant theory of social dynamics that is bound to provoke a paradigm shift in our understanding of mass behavioral change." (Booklist)
"Hip and hopeful, The Tipping Point is like the idea it describes: concise, elegant, but packed with social power. A book for anyone who cares about how society works and how we can make it better." (George Stephanopoulos)
Eye-Opening, Smart, Entertaining.
It reminded me of Freakonomics because of how statistics were used to explain things and the issues discussed (both books talked about reasons why the crime rate dropped in the 90s). But I thought Tipping Point was better than Freakonomics because it had more of a unifying theme.
The case studies and examples cited by Gladwell are fascinating in and among themselves. When combined with Gladwell's narration and the conclusions presented, they become part of a great book with lessons that can be applied every day.
There are countless events, from the mundane to the extreme, for which the causes can be hard to determine. The Tipping Point gives some compelling arguments and ways at which to look at situation to better understand how the right "little" factors can be the cause of something big -- sometimes very counter-intuitively.
Great listen -- highly recommended!
A decent book with interesting ideas on the anatomy of fads and ideas, but not a lot on what to do with those ideas. I think Gladwell's later books, Blink and Outlier, are better.
After Outliers and Blink, I went searching for more of Gladwell's work and while this wasn't quite as earth shattering to me as the others, it was very good. In a nutshell, there are certain elements to any mania, fad or other 'thought epidemic' and he clearly details the types of people (e.g. 'connectors', 'mavens', 'persuaders') and the circumstances present when these things take off.
There is a lot of good information in here, but not quite enough to convince me of all the author's arguments. A lot of examples go into great depth and drift far from the point, and then come back an hour later. Sometimes I could see what the author was getting at, but there were obviously many contributing causes for his particular effect, not just the tipping point he addresses.
The main premise would be better served by more and shorter examples. Certainly he needs more examples, with the longer ones having occasional reminders as to why we are listening to this particular example in the first place.
Still, I enjoyed the book and looked forward to coming back to it. I will probably re-read it someday and maybe I will be better convinced then.
This book was brilliantly written, organized and performed. It filled the entire time with relevant cohesive arguments.
It seemed as insightful to me as observing that if one eats too much one will get fat. The tipping point here likely being the introduction of ice cream 5 nights a week. I found the book to be no more than a collection of suppositions based on facts and information that most people aren't privy to or don't care about and wouldn't take the time to compile. The suppostions are then given names the author dreams up and presented as something supposedly profound. I did not finish the book.
If you are a Marketing type, this would probably be a great book. I didn't finish it as I'm not anything close to Marketing but I'm sure it has its niche.
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