The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell


I just finished reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. (Note: A Tipping Point is the time when an idea, fashion, cultural phenomena or any number of other ideas become extremely popular.) Yes, I know, I’m suppose to be on vacation so how do you explain me reading a book that is described as “tak[ing] theories and ideas from the social sciences and show[ing] how they can have real relevance to our lives.” Not a vacation read one would think.

But I have been so curious about this book and have heard it mentioned in conversations on a number of occasions. So when I wanted to REALLY treat myself to a book that would only be read by me, I choose The Tipping Point. And I was not disappointed.

Day before yesterday I wrote about my college professor, Dr. Martha Addy, and her lectures/assignments that sent us out to find the “implication and application” for any number of subjects. I cannot even remember what subject she taught but it does not matter. She actually taught me and all of her student to dig and think when we read and write. We learned from her that when we read, we should always be looking for what the implications would be for adopting a belief or actually taking the action some authors suggest. When you step back from an idea that might on the surface seem appealing we might, when we look at a bigger application of the idea, begin to see patterns and then ramifications that we had not expected or desired. We learned to walk around an idea, to inspect it from every angle and then to write about it.

The Tipping Point just begs for students to write and dissect every chapter. There is not one word that does not invite discussions on the “implications and application”. You will find yourself looking for yourself in his discussions on Mavens, Connector and Salesmen. The implications of the importance of groups or 150, the epidemic theories he presents are fascinating and his description of “stickiness” and it’s implications for children’s TV will certainly get your attention.

In his after word added in the latest edition of his book he talked about the institution of the IRA’s during the 1970’s and the target market; teachers. My husband and I were one of those teaching couples that benefited from the concept but the only reason we did it was because of the genius at ITT that knew that teachers are indeed Mavens. We knew it was a good idea and we told everyone we knew that would listen and learn. After all as Malcolm Gladwell said so eloquently, “And teachers? They teach”. Yes we do!!! Gladwell called it the most “brilliant marketing strategy” he had ever seen.

A great read, well documented and certainly applicable in our times with implication that will be far reaching. As for me I feel strongly that there are some ideas that need to Tip and they need to do it soon! What do you think?

Greeting from Palm Springs and the rest of this beautiful valley. It was a cool 96 on the freeway today!!

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One thought on “The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

  1. I absolutely loved The Tipping Point. Even though I read it about three years ago, I continue to draw on the ideas of connector, maven, salesperson — and enjoy trying to figure out which one of the three my friends and colleagues are. So you’re a maven? Of the three, I’m probably closest to a connector.Safe travels,Whitney

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