Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Bibliophilia: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference – Malcolm Gladwell

An intriguing look at why some things snowball into popularity and why other things, despite their merits, do not. Why some products become a success, and others don’t manage that same success has to do with things like “The Law of the Few” – that “word of mouth epidemics” ripple out from a few to the wider populace because of 3 very influential groups: Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen. Connectors are sociable individuals with a large network of acquaintances to apprise of a product or service they are aware of. Maven’s are innovators or early adopters, who are willing to try new things and pass along knowledge. Salesmen are people with a contagious charisma who can persuade those not in the know. These three significant and influential groups help to spread an idea to the masses. It almost takes a perfect storm of sorts. Your idea, product or concept has to be good, but you also need these 3 groups for it to reach a “Tipping Point”, when it suddenly catches fire with the population at large.

Another concept I found intriguing was his “Rule of 150”, that the number of people you can maintain a coherent social relationship with is about 150. He also delves into the “Stickiness Factor” and the “Power of Context.”

He cites quite a few examples of epidemics and how they spread. Everything from the resurgence in popularity of HushPuppies, the rise of Sesame Street, to crime waves.

I like how Malcolm Gladwell examines and explains ideas that normally one would never really consider or just totally overlook and gives the reader a whole new appreciation of the subject.

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