Book Reviews of some priceless books..!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point (Malcom Gladwell)

Creativity (or creativeness by Wikipedia defn) is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts. No wonder the organisation across the globe value creativity as much as cortical skills in present times.

Many a times its a content of cognition (read idea) that spreads like a virus and soon becomes a fad.

Often an Idea reaches a level where it "tips" and spreads like crazy. This is described as the "tipping point" by Author Malcom Gladwell.

Let me ask you a question - Which is the best potable music player in the world? What's the world's most popular painting? Wait...did I hear Bose & Mona Lisa as answers. But tell me isn't this strange - I mean we all have different lineage, different culture etc - even then our answers are strikingly same!!

I used to think that its just about right "Branding". But what the author of the bestseller "The Tipping Point" adds that more than branding what is important is getting into that FIRST position where you are an invincible - the leader of the pack. But in a world that is so much loaded with information (Thanks to Internet) - unless one finds something a cut above the rest (Google, iPOD, XBox) - making an impact takes lot of effort, time, intelligentsia and of course money!!

In the Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell provides an overview on the phenomenon of social epidemics, the underlying reasons that make things tip. The book is well researched with academic contributions entangled with interesting narrative that illustrates the theory. The Tipping Point provides a way of interpreting what factors have contributed to a certain epidemic or trend.
Mr. Gladwell has a made a great effort in going through a vast literature – mainly academic, but also popular – to find a number of key factors behind the social epidemics and some interesting narrative to illustrate them.

In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

So what makes things tip? According to Mr. Gladwell this can be divided into three explaining categories:

+ The law of the few,

+ The stickiness factor,

+ The power of context.

The law of the few states that only a very small part of people are behind the word-of-mouth epidemics and they can be categorized into connectors, mavens, and salesmen. Connectors are persons with exceptionally large personal networks, mavens are experts on the “right” market price and on spotting bargains, and salesmen are persons with extraordinary skill to persuade. Stickiness factor refers to small “sticky” details that can greatly boost for instance the effect of advertising campaigns. Finally, the power of context states that people are powerfully affected by the surrounding circumstances in making their decisions.

In The Tipping Point, Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics.

The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story written with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message--that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world.
Fun and interesting, if this kind of topic appeals to you, you'll like the book- its well written and an easy read.

Do get your copy of the book soon...and add in your comments/opinions.

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