Top critical review
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An extremely padded version of how ideas can build slowly and suddenly take-off
on 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