The Tipping Point

the tipping point audiobookUnabridged Audiobook
Written By: Malcolm Gladwell
Narrated By: Malcolm Gladwell
Publisher: Hatchette Book Group USA
Duration: 8 Hours 34 Minutes

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Summary: This celebrated New York Times bestseller — now poised to reach an even wider audience in paperback — is a book that is changing the way Americans think about selling products and disseminating ideas….Read more.

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Malcolm Gladwell: The Tipping Point Audio Book Summary

Malcolm Gladwell’s landmark book ‘The Tipping Point’, written in 2000 has become a global favorite, and the authors treatment of what makes a trend take hold in today’s society has been lauded as one of the most influential marketing and trend analysis books of all time.

Although the book is now 16 years old, it remains just as relevant and entertaining as it was when it first hit the New York Times bestseller list.

tipping point quoteIn the book Gladwell leads the reader in a search for just what constitutes that elusive tipping point when formerly insignificant trends suddenly emerge from the shadows and begin to seize the minds of the mass audience.

He uses a wide variety of real world instances of where seemingly insignificant things can make a huge difference when it comes to influencing the social dynamic – when thing go viral and actually, not unlike a sneeze on a full train, can lead to a mass contagion.

In fact Gladwell defines the tipping point as that point ‘when the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point’ occurs.

The examples Malcolm Gladwell uses are endlessly fascinating and range from shoe styling, crime rates and just how word of mouth can transform social movements and products, transporting them from the sidelines into the spotlight and transforming the fortunes of companies and individuals alike – as well as the way society acts.

It is special people who boast rare and exceptional gifts that are, according to Gladwell the catalyst that gets any ‘social epidemic’ ball rolling. In fact what Gladwell sets forth in the book is similar to what economists call the 80/20 principle – where 20% of the people do 80% of the work. The author sets out the argument that it is the rare minority of people who are actually responsible for priding the all important tipping point that can revolutionize society.

Gladwell also sets about defining the different types of people that are behind what he calls ‘The Law of the Few’. These people include connectors who are able to facilitate the introduction of communities to their mutual benefit, mavens who introduce individuals and society to new sources of information and the influential ‘salesmen’ who are extremely adept at persuasion.

Gladwell also goes on to list the other factors that will influence whether the tipping point will be reached. These include the ‘Stickiness Factor’ and the ‘Power of Context. Malcolm Gladwell uses the cult favorite television show ‘Sesame Street’ as an example of the ‘Stickiness Factor’. The author uses the zero tolerance approach to crime in New York as an example of the ‘Power of Context. He theorizes that society acts in a way that is closely influenced by a particular environment.

The case studies which neatly explain the tipping point theory are both informative and entertaining. By using examples including the rising number of teen smokers in the U.S., the spread of syphilis in Baltimore and the success of companies like Hush Puppy which went from tottering on the edge of bankruptcy to one of the most successful global footwear brands as examples of how the tipping point can be reached.

Highly readable, ‘The Tipping Point’ is a must read for students of societal trends, marketing or indeed those in search of a thought provoking read that provides hours of entertainment.