The Tipping Point

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

This book was actually recommended to me by a friend who said that it helped her understand marketing better.  Being interested in how to market my law practice I decided to give it a read.  While I am not disappointed at reading the book, I think labeling this book marketing advice was a misnomer.

One of the basic underlying theories is that the small things make the big difference in a trend catching on.  It is even in the title.  Baby steps are what starts the change, and small factors help the change stick, and a small group of people are what help the trend get started and spread.  Gladwell calls the three factors that are needed Law of the Few, The Stickiness Factor, and Power of Context.

There are 3 different types of people that are needed to get a word of mouth epidemic or trend to start, stick, and spread.  It is interesting to read about the qualities that Gladwell labels these types of people – Connectors, Mavens, and Salesman.

This is clearly a very simplified version of what the book is about, but that is because for more details you should read the book.  I would not classify it as a marketing book, but it does address marketing in broader context. The author claims that you need to change the way the reader views the world, I think this is only partially true.  The reader will understand marketing better and understand how trends and epidemics start and catch fire, but there is no step-by-step guide on how to make it happen.  Honestly, there could not be a step-by-step guide and reading the book will help you see why.  The fact that trends and epidemics reach nation and worldwide levels shows how much careful detail and planning goes into it and then you still need the right combination of factors and right combination of people to make it spread like wildfire.

This was a great read, and I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in sociology.


Suggested Reading:

The Dealermaker’s Ten Commandments (see book review)

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