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

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  625,489 ratings  ·  12,532 reviews
An alternate cover edition exists here.

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
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Paperback, 301 pages
Published January 7th 2002 by Back Bay Books (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  625,489 ratings  ·  12,532 reviews


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Nick
Feb 18, 2008 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
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Jessica
Feb 26, 2008 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
Sarah
Jul 06, 2008 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 Amazon.com. 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 arg
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Otis Chandler
Oct 17, 2006 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:
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Patrick DiJusto
Oct 24, 2012 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, bu
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Lori
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I think missed the best by date for this book. It's more fun than an introductory course in sociology and covers some of the same material. Reminded me of Bellwether by Connie Willis and William Gibson's Blue Ant series. All looking for the point where people change behavior and a new trend begins.

I loved the part about creating the children's education tv programs Sesame Street and Blue's Clues. What worked with preschoolers, and what didn't.

It seems likely Gladwell relies on his enthusiasm for his theory
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Jason
Jul 01, 2010 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 social c
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Trevor
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 thi
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Diane
Aug 15, 2007 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 N
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell defines a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point". The book seeks to explain and describe the "mysterious" sociological changes that mark everyday life. As Gladwell states: "Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do".

عنوانها: نقطهی اوج؛ نقطه شروع، نقطه عطف؛ نویسنده: مالکوم گلدول؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هفتم ماه آوریل سال 2009
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David
Sep 21, 2007 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
Caroline
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason Koivu
Jul 13, 2013 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
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Stacy
Jun 11, 2007 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
Shahzad Suleman
It has a number of eye openers and will broaden one’s vision to see how little things matter so much.

A combination of lucid explanation with vivid (and often funny) real-world examples, the book sets out to explain nothing less than why human beings behave the way they do.
C C
To understand "The Tipping Point," one must understand what led to its creation: In 2000, there were 5.5 billion people living on the planet Earth. Many of them were considered human beings, but a few were thought to be celery. The difference between the two categories bewildered the top dog breeders of the day.

To help us think more deeply about the consequences of the problem, consider the following fact: If you were born after 1975 and tried to ride a bicycle from Iceland to Darfur, the chanc
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Riku Sayuj
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Inductive reasoning but still believable for the most part. Extreme fun to read.
Hannah
Jan 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
1 Start - Horrible book.

Yes, yes, even though I started this yesterday I did actually finish it. And after doing so, I regret reading this.

Full disclosure, the subject matter didn't really interest me but I've been wrong before so I gave it a go. I'll never be able to get back those precious reading hours.

There are two things that make this book, in my opinion, unreadable. The first is that the concept/central theme of this book is nothing new. Now, I know this was published
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Kathrynn
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 anyt/>The
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Natali
Mar 08, 2009 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
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Eric_W
Nov 15, 2008 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 Geo ...more
Dru
Mar 09, 2008 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 book only lags ( ...more
Belhor
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book on epidemics. In this book, Malcolm tries to explain, with the wit, clarity and beauty you'd expect from him, the way something small and insignificant turns into a huge wave. The book started slow and gradually became more and more interesting. I loved chapter 7, which was partly about smoking. I always knew there was something fundamentally wrong about anti-smoking campaigns. Turns out I was right!

Here I just want to note the beauty of mass data gathering. Without mass data, th
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Aaron
Jun 18, 2008 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
J. hothot
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was one of those a-holes that referenced this book to my friends in casual conversation, over and over and over again right after reading it. I'M REALLY BRIGHT, I JUST READ MALCOLM GLADWELL, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT HUSH PUPPIES AND SESAME STREET. That said, it was one of my favorites in college and I still enjoy Gladwell's stuff, unashamedly.
Jennifer
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 right?) and he has suggested t
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Nicko
Aug 02, 2007 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
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David
Jan 09, 2009 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
Wealhtheow
Jul 29, 2007 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.
Vikas
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nbtr
This was third Malcolm Gladwell book I read and also similar to others which I wanted to read for a long time. This one deals with statistics and how there is a critical point in spread of anything idea or virus that can make it successful or a failure and with various examples Mr. Gladwell successfully pushed his ideas forward from Independence of USA to resurgence of a Shoe Brand to Shows for Kids to Teenage Smoking to Teenage Suicide. This one was the book which I felt can be used in Marketin ...more
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Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers—The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musici ...more
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” 195 likes
“To be someone's best friend requires a minimum investment of time. More than that, though, it takes emotional energy. Caring about someone deeply is exhausting.” 178 likes
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