The Tipping Point

In January 2007 I finally had the time to read this classic business book by Malcolm Gladwell. As always, read the back cover first:

“In this brilliant and original book, Malcolm Gladwell explains and analyses the ‘tipping point’, that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviors cross a threshold, tip and spread like wildfire. Taking a look behind the surface of many familiar occurrences in our everyday world, Gladwell explains the fascinating social dynamics that cause rapid change.”

Well I wouldn’t call it brilliant, but it’s most definitely a good book and a must read for everybody. There are 3 rules of the Tipping Point: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, the Power of Context. Especially the Law of the Few is a remarkable chapter with some amazing insights, in which we get introduced to the Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen. Why did Paul Revere succeed where William Dawes failed? You’ll have to read it for yourself to find out.

In the same chapter, Gladwell goes deeper into the six degrees of separation as well, telling me I had it wrong the whole time:

“Six degrees of separation doesn’t mean that everyone is linked to everyone else in just six steps. It means that a very small number of people are linked to everyone else in a few steps, and the rest of us are linked to the world through these special few”

This didn’t immediately make sense to me, but again the explanation in the book provides with exactly the information you need to understand thoroughly. Reading through the Law of the Few I think the book is brilliant, it’s when I got into reading the Stickiness Factor that I started loosing interest. And that’s all due to Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues. Even though I’m amazed with the amount of research that clearly goes into creating kids tv shows, I found it hard to read through the whole chapter. I guess that has something to do with the Power of Context ;)

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