Jessica's Reviews > The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
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Feb 27, 08

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 early majority and finally, the late majority. He is overwhelmingly redundant in expressing his ideas, providing examples of epidemics throughout the text while comparing them to one another (children's television, Hushpuppy shoes, Paul Revere's ride, nicotine, and the list goes on and on...). The Conclusion, the eighth and final chapter, was pointless: if the reader did not understand Gladwell's point by now, he or she must have been as lost as Washington Redskins' new coach Jim Zorn when he commented his family was proud to wear maroon and black.

All that said, the book was not horrible. It was a well written first person narrative and the lessons of the emergence of epidemics are applicable to almost any career or lifestyle, as Gladwell demonstrated with his countless examples.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Kevin (new)

Kevin For all the hype about Gladwell's "Tipping Point," I thought it was over-rated, I too would have given it two stars out of five.

message 2: by Tony (new)

Tony I liked Blink, and read criticism similar to yours on that work (overly simplistic, redundant, etc.). I find myself half agreeing with those criticisms on Blink, but still finding it to be an excellent book in the way that it's a compelling and easy to read introduction to a more sophisticated, and deeper, field of study.

I'm considering adding Tipping Point to an already crowded reading list, and I was wondering if you would describe it as I've described Blink in the above paragraph.

I like looking at negative reviews more than positive reviews when I start a book, so I was just curious.

Mike I agree exactly with Jessica's description. Interesting concepts expanded (padded) beyond what is necessary for them to "stick" with me. Constant repitition was also annoying. Allof which detratct from what would have been a very powerful essay. Blink avoided many of those problems and is slightly the better book for it.

Michael Hi Jessica, as a fellow Northern Virginian, I liked your comment about Jim Zorn. haha
As for the book, I listened to the abriviated audio version and liked it. I'm not sure if the book included it, but there was an interview at the end of the CD version where he talks about kids reaching their tipping point and doing crazy things. He suggests that parents need to be involved in their kids lives in order to prevent kids hysteria fueling greater hysteria. I thought that was the most important tip in the book. Thanks for your comments.

And we will see Zorn next year.

message 5: by Pj (new) - rated it 2 stars

Pj Exactly what Jessica said. This should be a magazine article, not a 300 page book.

Apostolos I was going to write a review bit this review encapsulates my feelings.

message 7: by A.m. (new) - rated it 1 star

A.m. Trumble this book is totally overrated.

Feliks Failing to see the 'wow' factor here, myself. And I also gotta say that mavens, connectors, and salespeople are among the worst 'drips' and 'drudges' in society.

Arjen O man, just posted my review and found out you think almost exactly the same. Nice!

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