Review: The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell


Down and Dirty: 4 out of 5

Unlike Outliers, Gladwell doesn’t make presumptions about precisely what his research shows. He leaves it to the readers, who take the information and run with it.

This book is so information rich that it probably warrants several rereads.  I had picked it up from the library mistakenly assuming it was one I had read before.  It was not!  As you might know, I wasn’t a fan of the last Gladwell book I read, but in Tipping Point he doesn’t spend his time just talking about problems – he talks about how to change things.

Literally, Gladwell’s book focuses on the ingredients in creating an epidemic.  He argues that anything from fashion to suicide can be made a viral influence on society.  Gladwell lays out countless examples and regularly breaks down what the little changes were to ‘tip’ a small thing into an epidemic.

The results would be simply chilling, especially when he talks about high school shootings becoming viral, except that he also shows how one can find the tipping point to stop problems such as teen smoking and turn an area with really terrible crime into one of the safest neighborhoods.  What is delightful and still a bit chilling, is how the tipping point isn’t a big thing.  It’s usually small, seemingly unimportant and humble.

If you’re looking for a book that looks at the social phenomena of viral marketing, you just found it.  If you’re looking for a book that shows you how to change anything with a small budget and keen attention, you just found it.  Give The Tipping Point a read, I bet you find it fascinating if not immediately actionable.

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