The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point

Tip-300x199Today’s book review while familiar is one that I consider to be a must read of the business genre, The Tipping Point, How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.

Presented in eight chapters with a fascinating afterword all honing in on the idiosyncrasies of our means and ability to effectively exchange information, this book gives insight to those investigating the why surrounding new trends and epidemics. Among the more powerful points Gladwell shares, included within “The Law of the Few” are three critical characters for successful business: the connector, the maven, the salesman.

  • Connectors are the people who have “mastered what sociologists call the ‘weak tie,’ a friendly yet casual connection” (pg 46). These are the folks you have met who seem to know everyone.  A Chicago example making the pages of this topic is Lois Weisberg.
  • Mavens are invaluable wells of knowledge.  They are “really information brokers sharing and trading what they know” (pg. 69). Highly interesting fact, identifying these individuals is so key that marketers often lure them into sharing their opinions such as with the case presented later in the book involving a phone number on a box of soap. However influential, mavens do not persuade; salesmen do this.
  • Salesmen – Aside from the obvious, these players sell ideas and even emotions through various methods including the most insightful “interactional synchrony” (pg. 89).

With characters in place the author moves into a sticky subject, the stickiness factor. This is the element that makes one retain a message. Such is illustrated through the examples following the creation of the popular children’s show Sesame Street and more recent success Blue’s Clues. It leaves me wondering what makes a creative website most memorable.  Yet, let us stick to the subject.

It would be impossible to make everything in Gladwell’s book “stick” with a short review. So, a few favorite highlights include the rule of 150 given in the second half of “The Power of Context,”  and two intriguing case studies which could not be more unrelated, Airwalks and suicide. Perhaps my favorite line follows the Fundamental Attribution Error introduction or FAE:

Character is more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstance and context (pg 163).

While illuminating exceptional business practices, defining VIP characters for success and relating epidemics from inception, to flourishing peeks and faltering valleys The Tipping Point tips in its own way by doing exactly what a good book is supposed to do, keep you turning the pages.

Speaking of pages, Andiamo Creative remains here to help you in your own business tipping adventure through logo design, branding identity, launching webpages and more! And if you enjoyed this review check out some of my earlier reviews including Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

Nicholas Dale Taylor
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