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on 11 April 2017
This book is great
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on 19 June 2017
Very happy with my purchase.
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on 10 June 2017
Excellent book, gives insights into all kinds of things.
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on 14 April 2017
Very good
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 December 2015
I started this book several times but it seems a conundrum about why a book about viral ideas wasn't able to hold my attention when everyone else was rushing to read it.

The main idea is that ideas, trends and social behaviours can cross a threshold. Before the threshold, growth is slow but after the threshold - or tipping point - growth becomes exponential.

The three critical concepts that the Tipping Point are based on are:
1 - The law of the few - how connectors (people who know a lot of other people), mavens (trusted experts) and salesmen (evangelists) can spread ideas quickly and effectively.
2 - The stickiness factor of the idea - how well the concept is able to stay true and pass from one to another.
3 - The power of context - how the idea fits with the prevailing environment.

The book is certainly wide-ranging from innocent activities like educational TV for children through to how syphilis, crime and drug taking spread through disadvantaged communities. For me that was part of the problem. I was reading the book to learn about how business ideas can spread quickly and effectively. The Tipping Point tells the story of Hush Puppies and Airwalk sneakers but I wanted more.

The heart of the book lies in the three factors which are little more than common sense. It is packed with thought-provoking studies of many different social issues but for some reason I found it much easier to put down than to pick up.

A book about compelling ideas should have been much more compelling to me but it has taken about five years to complete and about four sequences of starting and stopping. I finally took the book away on holiday with me, confident that such a popular book must contain secrets that I needed to know. Sadly after reading it, I don't think it does.

About my book reviews - My goal is to help you to find the best business advice. I aim to be a tough reviewer because the main cost of a book is not the money to buy it but the time needed to read it and absorb the key messages. 3 stars is worthwhile.

Paul Simister, business coach
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on 18 June 2015
Although this was a bestselling product of the late 1990's, it is not difficult to recognize its contemporary relevance. Gladwell’s groundbreaking concepts of ‘Connectors’, ‘Mavens’ , ‘Salesmen’ and message ‘Stickiness’ assume an even greater importance in the 21st century world of social media.

In adopting the angle required to precipitate an avalanche, social media and internet pressure group 38 Degrees, have literally adopted the author’s notion of a ‘tipping point’. Whilst Gladwell discusses the role of charismatic ‘Salesmen’ in selling financial services it is not difficult to make the connection with contemporary issues such as radicalisation and grooming, much of which takes place online.

The author’s description of how the ‘levelling’, ‘sharpening ‘and ‘assimilation’ of messages in their translation for a mass audience, clearly also has many parallels with radicalisation by extremist groups.

Gladwell relies much on psychology in explaining his ideas, something which will appeal to those who have read and enjoyed Kahnemann’s ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’.
Reference is made to the Fundamental Attribution Error and other human heuristics exploited by the Salesmen of this world. A fascinating discussion of the nature versus nurture argument also runs through the book, it being suggested that human personality and character traits are far less stable than we think and much more prone to environmental influence.

Another prescient notion is the concept of the most efficient size of organizations in a world increasingly dominated by multi national corporations. So too is the concept of ‘permission givers’ with respect to the initiation of destructive urges in young people, be it smoking or suicide.

There is also a clear message to the medical profession (with respect to clean needle distribution to addicts for instance) and child educators – the best intentions of social policy makers are often translated on the ground in an unexpected way.
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'The Tipping Point' is another entertaining, yet laboured book from Malcolm Gladwell. Like 'Blink' you get an interesting premise, explained very well at the beginning of the book, followed by 150 pages going over the same ground in greater depth. Once you've grasped the initial concept and had it proven with a few examples, you don't really need to go over it much more. Saying that, this book is an entertaining read and has some wonderful examples to illustrate the various points. I particularly enjoyed the chapter exploring the benefits, and tipping point of, sesame street and blues clues. Other chapters though, like the one on suicide and smoking, are pretty aimless and take a long time to make a very minor, insignificant point. This book is worth a read if you liked 'Blink' and it has some interesting ideas explored in it. If you like this I'd recommend 'Predictably irrational' which has similar experiments and is more coherent and focused. In fact, I'd probably recommend that book before this one. This is a good read, but not a great read.

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on 18 January 2006
Gladwell clearly makes the case that big events can follow from tiny initial changes, that society has Tipping Points. He illustrates with a number of interesting examples.
But this is not actually anything new. Back in about the '70s, people got very excisted about so-called Catastrophe Theory, which modelled Tipping Points mathematically, and for a short while ther was a lot of hype about a scientific way of analysing disasters.
But that fizzled out for the same reason this will. While it shows that systems have Tipping Points, it provides no way of predicting them or recognising them when they turn up. Only when it has passed and the change has occurred can you say "That was a Tipping Point, that was". Only when the knowledge is of no more use wil you know that a Tip has occurred.
So apart from realising thet "just one more push" may have a disproportionate effect and reach a goal that hundreds of similar pushes have failed to do, you learn nothing from this book. But it is a pleasant read.
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on 16 May 2013
Gladwell's Tipping Point is an incredibly boring book and reading it for me was like a penance. After I got through the first 90 pages I realized that the book was never going to come to life, in fact it's content deteriorated as the book progressed. Gladwell has the ability to write about the inside of a ping pong ball for very extended periods of time. The subject matter is simple and Gladwell treats it with repetitive academic zeal, repeating the same base statistics over and over and over again. As an example of the unparalleled ennui of this book Gladwell heroically tells an anecdote of one man who spent one and a half years scrutinizing a clip of film 45 seconds long in a quest to observe the interactions and body language of half a dozen family members in a kitchen, the author himself is fascinated by this utter idiocy and vile sacrifice of precious time. That was one of the more interesting parts of the book. I know there are actually some people who enjoy this style of writing but for me it flows counter to everything that is creative and interesting. The entire book is one long exercise of stating the obvious and ultra boring analysis and unfortunately I didn't learn a single thing from it, but it was a poignant reminder of just how painfully boring and pointless some books can be. If you're thinking about reading it you have my deepest sympathy.
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on 27 September 2002
I really enjoyed this book and devoured it in just a few sittings. It's dealing with a fascinating topic that the writer manages to break down and simplify into just a few simple concepts (the law of the few, the power of context and stickiness). However, whilst is very insightful and references a number of articles and books, it is largely unsubstantiated. Without being too positivist about it, the ideas put forward have a common sense structure about them, but lack scientific rigour -- someone else could write a book on the same topic but come up with completely different but equally unfounded 'laws' for tipping.
I also found it bizarre that Dawkins' 'meme theory' wasn't mentioned once, even though I would have thought it particularly relevent to the idea of ideas or behaviours being 'sticky'.
Overall, this repackages old ideas into new, bitesized chunks that make for a fun read.
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