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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  439,313 Ratings  ·  10,199 Reviews
The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malc ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published January 7th 2002 by Back Bay Books (first published 2000)
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Feb 20, 2008 Nick rated it really liked it
This book is fascinating and I was disappointed to read that many other readers didn't think so. So here's my response.

I think those readers are approaching this book the wrong the way when they critisize Gladwell for his inability to prove his points thoroughly. Sure, Gladwell could have dotted every i and crossed every t and shown every counter-example to the theories he's proposing. There's a word for the books that accomplish that: BORING. Gladwell is a storyteller and he knows how to keep
Feb 27, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok
This book grew out of an article Malcolm Gladwell was writing for the New Yorker. Frankly, it is better suited for a 5-7 page article rather than a 280 page book. The crux of the book is that the "stickiness factor" of epidemics (whatever the nature) begins with a tipping point. This tipping point arises because of three distinct sets of individuals: mavens, connectors and salespeople. He also examines the well-known S-curve which begins with innovators, then early adopters, followed by the earl ...more
Jul 06, 2008 Sarah rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who want a good laugh.
Can I give this zero stars?

When I read this book, back in 2006, I got really mad and wrote a scathing review of it on Here it is:

"I've been duped!, June 20, 2006
By Sarah (California, USA) - See all my reviews

This book sucks. Don't waste your hard earned money on it. Let me save you a few bucks here: Malcolm Gladwell is either a self-aggrandizing ass who is too busy thinking he is the god of marketing to notice that a great majority of his arguments lack any kind of cohesion or credib
Otis Chandler
Nov 13, 2006 Otis Chandler rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, nonfiction
Really good book. It read like a bestseller (quick read), but had a lot of substance to stop and make you think.

three Rules of the tipping point: the law of the few, the stickyness factor, the power of context.

Law of the Few (people who influence):
- Connectors: super connectors (eg Paul Revere). William Dawes had the same mission as Paul Revere the same night but we haven't heard of him b/c Paul Revere was a super-connector & knew who to rouse.
- Mavens: A Maven is a person who has informat
Patrick Di Justo
Mar 08, 2014 Patrick Di Justo rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012
How the flying fuck did this piece of shit ever get published? How on God's green earth did this thing become a bestseller?

Yes, I'm the last person in America to read The Tipping Point, and I'm glad I waited. Now that all the hype has burned off, it's easy to see this book for what it is: a very well crafted collection of half-truths and speculation, sold as "truth".

Let's look at one example. I read The Tipping Point as an ebook, so my pages might not match completely with yours, but it's the s
Dec 27, 2010 Jason rated it liked it
Here’s why you need to read The Tipping Point. You don’t!!

Look, it’s not because the writing is poor, the concepts disorganized, or the book fails to instruct. It’s simply that the ideas are anachronistic. This is no fault of Malcolm Gladwell. He published in 2000, wrote in ‘99, and used case studies from the mid-90’s. How could he have known he was publishing a book about social media on the eve of social media’s inchoate move into our social DeoxyriboNucleicAcid, or that the overgrowth of soci
Aug 12, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it
The book that became a catchphrase! The term "tipping point" has become so commonly used in news stories that I wonder how many people know it came from a book.

I read this back in 2000 when I was in grad school for sociology. It's a fun little book of case studies, many of which applied to what I was learning in my classes. Here it is 13 years later and I can still recall many of the details and theories, which shows how interesting I thought they were.

Gladwell, who writes for The New Yorker, h
Sep 21, 2007 David rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in the transmission of ideas
In a work heavily influenced by the budding science of memetics (though he never once uses the word meme), Malcom Gladwell seeks to provide a framework for explaining why certain isolated phenomena (suicide in Micronesia, wearing hush puppies, reading a particular novel) can suddenly become widespread and why situations can suddenly swing from one extreme (rampant crime in 80s NYC) to another (the huge drop in crime in that same city during the 90s). Gladwell postulates three mechanisms of cultu ...more
I wish there was another word I could use instead of sexy. I mean it metaphorically, obviously, but I want to tell you about the thing that I find to be the most sexy thing imaginable – and I’ve realised that sexy isn’t really the word I should be using at all. You realise, of course, I’m talking about intellectually stimulating or satisfying when I say sexy. That is what I want to talk about – the thing that gives me my biggest intellectual buzz.

Look, it isn’t any of the obvious things you migh
May 20, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason Koivu
Jul 17, 2013 Jason Koivu rated it liked it
Holy suppositions, Gladwell! There's a whole lotta coulds, may haves, apparentlies, perhapses up in here!

Malcolm Gladwell's basic premise in The Tipping Point: To explain how word-of-mouth is spread.

A couple of the examples he used were how crime was reduced in NYC under Giuliani's reign and how an old, dead-in-the-water brand of shoes seemingly suddenly were selling like hotcakes. But honestly, my favorite bit was the section on Sesame Street.

It's interesting stuff, no doubt with some truth to
Nov 06, 2012 Khalid rated it liked it
تجربة قراءة كتاب اللغة الإنجليزية هي تجربة رائعة جداً,تفتقد شعورك تجاه لغتك الأم تجاه لغة الضاد..ولكن لا يعني ذلك أنك تؤثرها على الإنجليزية,عندما يفتح لك باب القراءة بلغة أخرى إنما هي نعمة أنعم الله بها عليك فلا فضل لك ولا قوة فـ لله الحمد والشكر أولاً وأخيراً. الكتاب نقطة التحول عندما بدأت في قراءة لم أكن أستطيع تصنيف الكتاب بأي قسم أضعه وتحت أي مجموعة أصنفة فما كان مني إلا أن أنتهيت من الكتاب وقلت في نفسي هذا كتاب قد يكون تسويقي وقد يكون جزء من علم النفس. الكتاب يدور حول ثلاث فصول مهمة:
فصل قان
Dec 23, 2007 Stacy rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Malcolm Gladwell shows us with this book that he is a jack-of-all-trades (or intellectual disciplines) and master of none. He very loosely weaves together existing social science and economic research to support his thin idea that there is a "tipping point" in all epidemics. While it was a page turner and interesting to read, his glib conclusory statements interpreting others' research was a bit jarring... For example, use of the word "always" when describing a social phenomenon is not a practic ...more
Saud Omar
Jun 24, 2015 Saud Omar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
من مدونتي: ثمانون كتابا بحثا عن مخرج


طوال تاريخ الشرق الأوسط الحديث لم تشهد المنطقة أي ثورة حقيقية, لم يكن هناك سوى مظاهرات نادرة مبعثرة هنا وهناك. وفجاءة, ومن دون سابق إنذار, تندلع الثورات الواحدة تلو الأخرى في أرجاء المنطقة .. تونس .. مصر .. اليمن .. البحرين .. ليبيا .. المغرب .. والقادم مذهل أكثر.

ليس من الصعوبة بمكان أن نحلل سبب نشوء كل ثورة من هذه الثورات على حدة, لكن الشيء الذي يستعصي على الفهم هو سبب حدوث كل هذه الثورات في هذه الفترة القصيرة ( حوالي خمسين يو
Thoroughly enjoyed this easy to read non-fiction, business/sociology book. The author did a nice job putting information together in a clear, concise manner and I enjoyed the examples used throughout the book. Some examples used early on are carried through the entire book, i.e., Hush Puppies (shoe) fad, AIDS, etc.

The Tipping Point explains the phenomenon of why some products, businesses, authors, etc become hugely successful (tip) while others never seem to break apart from the masses as anythi
Riku Sayuj
Feb 04, 2012 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing
Inductive reasoning but still believable for the most part. Extreme fun to read.
Mar 08, 2009 Natali rated it it was amazing
This is Gladwell's most thorough book. It has everything that I wanted from Outliers and Blink: research, diagnosis, and a clear call to action. Although admittedly, the research is not quite as fun as it is in his two following books.

If I had Gladwell's attention, I would ask him this: How do you capitalize on your role as either a Connector, Maven, or Salesmen? And what if you are none of the above, but rather a part of the phenomenon-following mob? Can you aspire to a different role than the
Oct 13, 2013 Eric_W rated it really liked it
I first read about this concept several years ago in a New Yorker article that discussed the theory of epidemics as it relates to crime, particularly the power of context. A book (Fixing Broken Windows Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities by George Kelling) proposed that police should spend more time dealing with the little things, e.g., arresting people for public drunkenness, going after the street hookers small-time dope dealers, rather than putting resources into the high-pr ...more
Aug 05, 2007 Nicko rated it it was amazing
I've heard Malcolm Gladwell speak a few times at Harvard and had been interested to read The Tipping Point for a while. It's a mixture of anectdotes, psychology, economics, marketing, epidemiology and more.

The principle focus of The Tipping Point is how small changes, can bring about large effects. With examples such as marketing of Hush Puppies shoes, the broken windows theory, Airwalk shoes, Paul Reveres midnight ride, word of mouth, mass hysteria and more.

Gladwell really captures the spirit
Nov 01, 2008 Aaron rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nobody
I bought this book for half price at Borders. I should have thought to myself: "Hey, there's probably a reason this book is on the half price table." But I didn't. I bought the book. The best way I can describe this one is to remind people of what it was like to take an essay exam for a liberal arts course in college. You have a full hour to fashion a coherent thesis out of the trivia you've learned over the past five months. So you come up with a topic sentence, build up a head of steam, and st ...more
Mar 20, 2008 Dru rated it really liked it
I can see now that the Freakonomics boys took quite a few pages out of this book. The Tipping Point launched the trend of examining social experiments with results that are, to use Mr. Gladwell's phrase, "wildly counterintuitive". I breezed right through this one--the most popular books always seem to be quick reads--because I was so caught up in Gladwell's straightforward style of writing and fascinating subject matter. (I particularly enjoyed the Sesame Street/Blue's Clues experiments.) The ...more
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference is a standalone nonfiction/educational business book written by journalist Malcolm Gladwell. As noted in the synopsis, "the tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire." Mr. Gladwell offers multiple examples of this phenomenon in various domains including business, education, religion, health, and crime.

My husband ONLY reads business books (how boring
Dec 04, 2013 David rated it did not like it
Malcolm Gladwell interests me for one reason only. I wonder how it is that this man's book spent many many weeks on top of the new york times best seller list?(But then again look at the new york times best sellers list.) What struck me the most about this book is its total lack of in depth analysis. The question which lead to the writing of this book has to do with how fads start. He explains the process of what takes place in order for a fad to happen with the implication that if these steps a ...more
Daniel Chaikin
Oct 08, 2015 Daniel Chaikin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great Gladwell book with lots to think about. Like most his books there is a sense of pointlessness to it, even as Gladwell pounds out its relevance... hmm, that's a pretty vague statement. What I mean is that there is nothing groundbreaking here. The basic message is that it takes a certain specific amount of skill in specific things, and certain specific kinds of luck (or ill luck) for societal changes to happen, whether they are about fashion or crime. That's not news. Anyway, regar ...more
Nov 06, 2007 Don rated it did not like it
there were only a couple interesting points. mostly it felt like "wow! look at this very popular thing! before it happened, this other thing happened. there might be a cause and effect there!"
Aug 07, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it liked it
An interesting book about how fads, social movements, and learning occur. Lots of simple social theory combined with very concrete, specific examples from our current world.
May 25, 2016 RitaSkeeter rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this; it has that bashed together mish-mash of information from a range of different disciplines that I love. Unfortunately though, it is now very outdated - I think it was first published in ?2000 - long before the social media explosion we live with these days. When I think of tipping points, I think of those posts on FB that go viral; but that's just not something that even existed back then.

As much as I enjoyed Gladwell's style, I found his arguments unconvincing much of the
Angela Blount
Feb 25, 2015 Angela Blount rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction

2 Stars

Note: I listened to the audiobook. Gladwell reads his own work, and the vocal effect is generally pleasing.

Having first read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, this earlier work of Gladwell's was a bit disappointing. The premise is intriguing, particularly from a sociological and marketing standpoint. Gladwell explores numerous factors that seem to provide compelling explanations as to why certain products or ideas (intentionally or otherwise) become virulent phenomenon, wh
Obeida Takriti
Jan 11, 2015 Obeida Takriti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
انتشار صيحة معينة، مرض معين، عادة معينة..
أو حتى انتشار الجرائم، العنف، التطرف،
نجاح برنامج، انتشار كتب معينة، أديان،
نهضة بلد
أو أي شيء يمكن له الانتشار..
يظن الناس اعتباطاً في العالم العربي أن هذه الأمور وليدة الصدفة..
أو القدر..
أو أن الله أراد ذلك..

هذا الكتاب يريك علمياً ومن خلال أمثلة أن أي تغيير جذري لا يحتاج للكثير..
يحتاج فقط لأي شيء لأن يصل لنقطته الحرجة..
لنقطة يصبح فيها تكاثر الأشياء غير منطقياً لأول وهلة وبالتفكير السريع البشري..
تحتاج تحليلاً أكبر..
مثلاً لو استطعنا نظرياً أن نطوي ورقة 50 مرة.
Apr 19, 2009 Mahlon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a business, marketing, or management background.
Recommended to Mahlon by: Kate Mcananey
Shelves: read-2009
Malcolm Gladwell discusses how trends spread, or reach their "Tipping Point" in this thought provoking book. He identifies 3 Laws in his theory:

1. The law of the few:

Gladwell identifies 3 types of people that aid in "tipping" trends:

Connecters- Socially outgoing people who seem to know everyone (he cites Paul Revere as an example)

Mavens- A person who likes to collect information on various subjects or products, and delights in distributing it to friends to aid in their decision making process.
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Malcolm Gladwell is a United Kingdom-born, Canadian-raised journalist now based in New York City. He is a former business and science writer at the Washington Post. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He is best known as the author of the books The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers ...more
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“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” 165 likes
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