Tipping Point

Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference was filled with essential bits of information. How did Hush Puppies become popular? Why did Paul Revere’s ride become of historical importance in the American colonies? How did crime decrease in New York City in the 1990s? Why was there a problem with the suicide epidemic in Micronesia? What accounted for the success of Sesame Street? And why was it that smoking was such a problem among American youths?

Gladwell showed how connectors, mavens, and salesmen were able to play a major role in these developments. But before that could happen, he felt that word-of-mouth had to play an important part. This was when information passed from one individual to others had to reach a critical mass. This phenomenon the author likened to an epidemic that people usually think about when talking about diseases. However, he saw literal analogies when referring to how social causes, advertisements, and movements would begin to catch afire.

Gladwell argued that it only would take a well-positioned connector like Paul Revere to spread the news about the British invasion. A maven was knowledgeable and keen on providing advice to consumers who knew him. Many of these notable individuals were specialists of many sorts. Then, it would take a salesman who was usually an opinion leader to influence customers to buy a product, or to follow his recommendations. The author also discussed what was the optimum size of a company for it to work efficiently. Its workforce had to be no more than 150 strong. If it became larger than this number it would be time to start a new branch.     

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