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 Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
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The juggernaut that launched the Gladwell phenomenon
The Gladwell juggernaut launched with a slogan so simple, so common-sensey, you kinda wonder what the big deal was. It’s not The Tipping Point‘s subtitle — though How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference has some slick chaos-theory cred. No, it’s this: “Ideas behave like epidemics.” Which makes Gladwell kinda like the CDC, attempting to trace a concept back to the first cough. For The Tipping Point, he methodically reverse-engineers the successes of everything from the resurgence of Hush Puppies to Blue’s Clues’ secret formula to Paul Revere’s remarkable effectiveness as a traveling salesman. All of the above, and too many more to list, he argues, were in just the right places — and had just the right approach — to go viral. It’s way more complicated than the old straw-versus-camel’s-back situation. Drawing on numerous studies and interviews (in Micronesia one minute and Sesame Street the next), Gladwell reveals the tipping point not as a piling on so much as an elaborate series of nudges often unintentional and difficult to predict or repeat. Still, you won’t be able to leave The Tipping Point without feeling like you’ve got the goods to game the system. I mean, if it worked for Hush Puppies …