Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

I read Blink a few years ago and enjoyed it. I normally am not into nonfiction books, but Malcolm Gladwell does a good job of presenting his research in a easily readable way. I acquired The Tipping Point from a teacher who is going to retire at the end of the school year. He has lots of books in his classroom he is trying to give away, and The Tipping Point was one of them.

Side note. His classroom is a mix between Narnia for history geeks and a mad scientist's laboratory. I'm also quite sure there is a family of racoons living in that room. Maybe even a student...

Back to the book. Now, do I know that Gladwell's theories are true? Heck no! I have no idea if his theories are true and if I wanted to read a scientific journal, I would be more concerned with the research presented to actually prove his points. But the last thing I want to do in my free time is read scientific journals.

As I read up on how other people felt about the book, the major criticism was that Gladwell's book ties loosely together. This book came out an article he wrote, and there are some that feels that it should have remained an article. Now, Gladwell, I think is first a writer and a storyteller. His major aim to appeal to the masses and write something that is easily understood.

Now, do I remember everything from the book? No. Do I even remember each trend he refers to in order to prove the theory of The Tipping Point? (See what I did there?) No. But I enjoyed reading it and I feel smarter after reading it. So as long as my ego is soothed, then everything is A-OK.

So on with the book. The Tipping Point is about how an idea becomes a trend. He analyzes the way an idea becomes a trend and then looks the sort of people that carry the idea into a well known trend. He discusses the "stickiness factor" and looks at the following people that the idea "sticks" too: The mavens, connectors and salespeople. He looks at hushpuppies, the midnight ride of Paul Revere and television among other trends that occurred. It was interesting to read about the children's television and the shift between Sesame Street and Blue's Clues. There is also a chapter on The Tipping Point of The NYC subways and how the smaller actions lent itself to the drastic change of the subways.

If I acquire another Gladwell book, I will happily read it. I find him easy to understand and an enjoyable read.

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