Friday, July 4, 2014

The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell

Summary:  The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.  (Summary from and image from

My Review:  The Tipping Point is a compilation of all the reasons why something goes big, viral, becomes a fad or sensation.  This being Gladwell's first book, it's not surprising that this isn't his best writing.  I found Outliers much better writing and subsequently a better read--just wanted to give you fair warning.

I find I'm becoming a junkie for these nonfiction 'how the world works' books.  Just what does it take for something to take off and become mainstream?  If you've ever wondered what all those moving parts and integral pieces are, give this a shot.

Aspects to the book I found difficult to get through were how some of the stories seemed to go on and on without a clear connection to how they pertained to the message.  Other times it seemed Gladwell was tooting his own horn with those he interacted with (no one likes a braggart).  In the end, I found the book informative, but also written anecdotally, so it wasn't always clear how much was researched and how much was 'life experience'.  I won't knock qualitative data--I believe it in it wholeheartedly, especially for the soft sciences where art is necessary--but this seemed like such a mix between qualitative and quantitative research the lines are blurred.

I'd recommend this to those who like to know how the world works, avid reads, and people interested in nonfiction.  Otherwise, this might not be the book for you.

Rating: 3 stars

Sum it up: Want to know how to go from unknown to bestseller?  This is your book.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I also read this book recently and my thoughts are much like yours. Gladwell definitely has a talent for pulling together seemingly unrelated anecdotes and details. Like you, I thought Outliers was written better, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Tipping Point.


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