Review of The Tipping Point

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This is the bestseller that made social theorist and New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell a household name. Published in 2000, it remains among the top 1,000 bestsellers on Amazon. Gladwell introduces concepts that still resonate – for example, that effective ad campaigns, clothing trends, ways of thought and cultural changes have “stickiness.” They stick in your mind and influence your actions, purchases and self-perception. He discusses “social epidemics” and social “contagions” marked by the spread of localized trends or attitudes – like hipsters wearing Hush Puppies. These epidemics spark broad change, generate solutions both conservative and “counterintuitive,” and redefine what you regard as normal. The theories Gladwell raises and the case histories he cites all support his central theme: that significant change doesn’t always evolve slowly. It can occur suddenly and spring from the influence of a small, select, well-connected few. getAbstract recommends this classic to those who want to understand how small events spark larger ones and how social change reaches a tipping point.

About the Author

New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell also wrote Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking; Outliers: The Story of Success; What The Dog Saw: And Other Adventures and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.


Gladwell’s books break down social science and academic research for a mass audience. Many of the ideas he popularizes – most of which, as he always points out, didn’t originate with him – become truisms and are as hard to dislodge from the common view as the ideas that they dislodged. As he discusses the concept of stickiness – ideas that resonate and stay with you – you realize that Gladwell is as sticky as they come. The central concept he describes in another bestseller Outliers – that mastery in any field requires 10,000 hours of practice – pops up in every other business, leadership or self-help book, as it has since he first reported the idea. Many picked up on that concept, and many others repeated it. That’s how a “virus” turns into a social epidemic. The messenger matters. Not everyone can spread a social virus because not everyone gets respect for his or her opinion.

The virus being spread or the person spreading it must have stickiness. Stickiness can be counterintuitive. Social viruses might stick – as when East Village New Yorkers turned ordinary Hush Puppy shoes into the coolest possible footwear – because they seemed to be the opposite of what would stick. Hush Puppies were so uncool that when cool people started wearing them they created an enviable aura of anti-cool. The message, in effect, was I’m so cool I can make this uncool thing cool. That is a very sticky idea.

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    M. S. 2 years ago
    very bad summary
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    M. E. 4 years ago
    A summary far too superficial, similar to a summary from a customer @ emphasizes mainly on describing “Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen” as well as the author. There were so many more important points, at times subtle, that should have made it to this summary...
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    M. M. 6 years ago
    este resumen no cumple los criterios de minimo 5 paginas