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

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
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's review
Nov 30, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: own, nonfiction-business, 2008, reviewed, nonfiction-metaphysics

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 anything special. The author introduced the following labels:

Mavens: People that are very particular about products. They thoroughly research products or businesses and like to stay in the "know" about many things. "Mavens have the knowledge and social skills to start a word-of-mouth epidemic." Mavens are the data banks. They are the messengers.

* Enjoyed reading how Lexus dealt with keeping the Mavens happy when they had a recall. Neat!

Connectors: People who KNOW a lot of people. Not just close friends, but acquaintances. Interesting to note, that a connector is not out for self-serving goals, i.e., authors acquiring massive GRs friends, but they are more observers who genuinely like people. They come off an airplane knowing names of several new people in their lives...People with the gift of "bringing the world together." Connectors are the social glue--they spread the word.

Salesmen: People with the skills to persuade us when we aren't sure. They are the critical point for the "tipping" of word-of-mouth epidemic.

Why was Paul Revere known for his "midnight ride" when William Dawes was not? Paul Revere was a connector.

Why does one restaurant or book become hugely successful while another just as good (or better) remain fairly unknown? They had a Maven, Connector and Salesmen in their corner that spread the news of their product or business like a virus.

I enjoyed the "Broken Windows" theory and how it was presented in cleaning up the New York Subway System and subsequently used to clean up run-down, crime-filled neighborhoods. The Magical Number Seven--had no idea. The information about Gore Associates (business) and how they are all "associates" with mentors in lieu of supervisors. They practice the idea that each building hold a maximum of 150 employees because beyond that and the employees no longer know each other or stay aware of what is going on in another department, loosing the personalization and job satisfaction...

The last section involved smoking, trying to quit smoking and teen smoking. Wow! Some really good ideas presented here. This section also touched on peer pressure. How teens attempted or copied the Columbine shootings and why, how teens have suicide "epidemics" and why. Why do teens want to smoke?

The Afterword that the author added to this book was neat because he addressed e-mail and it's overuse. He used the telephone as an example. Telemarketers, etc. Fax machines. All were neat when they weren't overused, now we are inundated with e-mails everyday and we don't take the time to respond to most and if we do, it's usually very short.

A lot of good information packed into this book for business as well as sociology.
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Reading Progress

November 30, 2008 – Shelved
December 3, 2008 – Shelved as: own
December 3, 2008 – Shelved as: nonfiction-business
December 11, 2008 –
page 89
29.57% "Excellent book!"
December 15, 2008 –
page 169
56.15% "Why was Paul Revere remembered and not William Dawes? Paul had a larger social rolodex..."
Started Reading
December 16, 2008 –
page 304
100% "Wonderful! Plan on buying "Outliers" by this author next!"
December 16, 2008 – Shelved as: 2008
December 16, 2008 – Finished Reading
April 10, 2009 – Shelved as: reviewed
September 1, 2009 – Shelved as: nonfiction-metaphysics

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Auntee (new)

Auntee Sounds like it would be an interesting text for a sociology class.:)

Kathrynn Would be interesting to discuss in a business or sociology class... It was written in a way that the author was talking to the reader, so much more "friendly" than a normal textbook.

Jessica Kathrynn, I do like the reader ease of this book. It is a fun read. I find myself not remember or not doing the little things to change. I have to review it (for the New Year :) to come up with the changes.

Kathrynn What change are you referring to from the book?

Jessica I would like to change some of my work behaviors and views to become more successful. Many of the points and people had certain tendencies that could be applied--and I'd like to. Make sense?

Kathrynn I don't recall anything mentioned in the book that could be changed, per se. The types of personalities that were mentioned were natural abilities. A person either had a gift to meet and remember people or he/she didn't. A person had the ability, desire and fortitude to research tons of consumer information--constantly, i.e., Consumer Reports Magazines, etc and were a walking information booklet or they weren't. I'm not certain those personality traits can be altered...Perhaps you are thinking of a different book?

But, I did forget to mention the research that went into creating Sesame Street and later Blue's Clue. That was very interesting and the experiments that were used to determine preschoolers ability to multi-task was eye-opening.

Kathrynn Also, forgot to mention the New York stabbing from the mid-eighties! Why did 38 people do nothing while a woman was being attacked in the street below? That was interesting!

I remember when that happened!

Jessica I ddon't remember that. I do remember a woman being raped at an L station in Chicago. Nobody waiting for a train did a thing. How can people be so inert?

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