The Tipping Point.
This is a fascinating and thought provoking book that looks at how ideas and behaviours reach and pass through a threshold beyond which they spread like wildfire. Malcolm Gladwell draws on a number of examples of this phenomenon such as the transformation in the crime levels in New York, the adoption of the ‘once unfashionable’ Hush Puppy shoe or the dramatic growth in the athletic shoe producer Airwalk to illustrate the crossing of these thresholds or ‘tipping points’ at which dramatic advances are made.
In exploring the mechanisms which account for these tipping points he identifies some of the people involved in creating these transformations. and their characteristics that contribute to the spread of ideas. Three distinct types are described; Connectors who contribute through their ability to maintain effective networks to connect ideas with people; Mavens who are the collectors of knowledge and its analysis as information brokers; Salesmen who provide the link to convince the population of the merits of the idea.
The book includes other examples of each of these contributions to the spreading of ideas and for example has some fascinating insights into the work done in the development of the TV series Sesame Street to ensure the stickiness of the educational ideas aimed at children.
This is an engaging, fascinating and stimulating read that provides a number of insights of value to everyone who shares the objective of making new ideas stick and lead to transformation.
Many thanks to Dave Yarrow who introduced me to this book.
Steve Unwin 20 October 2003.
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