I read “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, easily in one day, in large part because of how good it was. This book is most certainly a very quick and easy read, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is searching for new ideas and concepts in a very quick and concise manner.
The main idea of this book is that there are three things that come together that could ultimately bring about fast and dramatic changes within our society. The three things are the context (the situational environment/when it’s near the ‘tipping point’), the idea, and the people involved. The point of the book is that the very small changes in any of the context, the overall quality of the idea (which Gladwell refers to as the ‘stickiness’), or whether or not the idea reaches a small group of key personnel can trigger a dramatic and noticeable change within society.
Gladwell speaks at length on gifted people. These gifted people are divided into three categories: Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople. Connectors are said to be people who have a strong ability to make friends, and have the ability to connect so many people and ideas together in the world. A Maven is a person that has the ability to accumulate knowledge, and are both a student and a teacher. And finally, a Salesperson is someone who has the ability to persuade others to ideas that individuals may not normally listen to.
Gladwell then continues on to talk about gathering empirical data for ideas, and not just relying on theory or assumption– which goes back to his original statements on the stickiness of ideas. Gladwell gives plenty of examples of where assumptions have been overturned by data.
Finally, Gladwell also makes a point about the rule of 150. He explains this first through some British anthropologists’ idea that brain size/neocortex size, is ultimately related to the ability to handle the complexities of social groups and social situations. The larger the neocortex is, the larger the social group that can ultimately be managed by the person.
All in all, “The Tipping Point” did a phenomenal job a sparking conversation among peers, as well as providing new ideas to the public. Gladwell has a knack for giving off several ideas without losing the reader or making the idea overly confusing for the reader. Many books similar to “The Tipping Point”, do not flow well and easily confuse the reader, leaving their thoughts and ideas to be lost on those that take the time to actually read the book. This was definitely not an issue in this instance, and this book ultimately gave the readers plenty of new ideas and information to think about over time. Gladwell does a great job at coming out with books that continue to promote discussion among peers and other individuals, and I cannot wait to see what other ideas he puts out in the near future as he continues to come out with more and more books.