The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point : How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell (Little Brown and Company, 2000)

A fascinating book that looks at how epidemics (both medical and social) spread. How for example did New York change from being the most dangerous city in the world, to one of the safest? What and who contributed to this? Gladwell explains his philosophy of a tipping point, where a single person or thing can start an epidemic. The moment they take off or reach a critical mass is the tipping point. There are various types of people : connectors, mavens and salesmen. Connectors are the type of people who know everybody (the most critical people in the 6 degrees of separation process!) Mavens are first adopters and know everything about everything FIRST, and Salesmen are people with charisma and influence. They all have a different role to play in how things change. Gladwell emphasises that often it is really small things that make a difference. Interesting because many people think you need a comprehensive, thorough plan to ensure change occurs…but sometimes it is just the small, seemingly inconsequential things that contribute to the tipping point of change. Lots of good examples of how this works – deciding to clean up the graffiti in New York being a prime example of something small that can have a massive impact.

Gladwell can Writewell.


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