Monday, August 12, 2013

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

The Tipping Point is the first book of Malcolm Gladwell.  The book as explores in Gladwell own words "How Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do." The examples of such changes in his book include the rise in popularity and sales of Hush Puppies shoes in the mid-1990s and the steep drop in the New York City crime rate after 1990.

According to Gladwell there are 3 rules of epidemics 
  • The Law of the few
  • The Law of the few according to Gladwell is similar to the 80/20 principle in economics. Few people effect the most change. Gladwell further divides these people into 3 groups. 
    The Connectors a set of people who know large numbers of people and who are in the habit of making introductions.
    The Mavens or "information specialists" The people collect knowledge and share it with others.
    And the Salesmen these are people with the skills to pursue people about what they are hearing.
    These set of people are those who actually drive a idea to success.
  • The Stickiness Factor
  • This is how the way of presentation of a message improves its retension skill. He takes examples of popular shows like Sesame street which worked upon the stickiness factor and thus enhanced the effective retention of the educational content in the show along with its entertainment value.

  • The power of Context
  • According to Gladwell Humans are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which they are. For example, efforts to combat minor crimes such as fare-beating and vandalism on the New York subway led to a decline in more violent crimes city-wide. This is like the Open window theory
Malcolm Gladwell also discusses what he dubs the rule of 150, which states that the maximum number of individuals in a society or group that someone can have real social relationships with is 150. Anything more than this no the relationships lose its strength. 

The book is a very interesting read. Easy to follow. I give this book a rating of 4/5.

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