Book Notes: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Why The Tipping Point

Book Review and Notes on The Tipping Point by Malcolm GladwellI guess who hasn’t heard of Malcolm Gladwell right? Well, he wrote a book a while back called Outliers which I liked a lot. Perhaps I only read the first chapter because I remember the “Hockey Players are Always Born in Month 1-3 of the Year” very well.

Anyways, Malcolm is a great thought leader and I appreciate every point he comes up with. This one is all about how the little stuff can get huge with the proper conditions so it’s full of valuable lessons.

Reading Notes for The Tipping Point

Hush puppies popularity and NYC crime fall are examples of event that saw a tipping point.

Dunbar’s number of 150 is the number of relationships a person can maintain.

Relationships meaning they are connections in which you know who a person is and what they mean to you. This really is the core of human connection.

We want groups to serve as incubators for contagious growth. Groups of less than 150 will be the most effective.

Peer pressure is much more powerful than the fear of a boss

To make a big movement, you’ve gotta make lots of small things


Diffusion Studies explain how elements move through population

Start something – early adopters – early majority and finally the late majority and lastly the laggards

Lambeses was the advertising executive who would study youth outliers in expectation of the next big thing. With luck they could get ahead so air walk would be considered the leader in counterculture trend development.

Starting epidemics requires concentrating resources on a few key areas.

The Law of the Few – have resources solely concentrated on

Connectors | Mavens | Sales People

With the slightest push it can be tipped

CocaCola sickness in Belgium…. Kids go sick from sulfide a in the carbonation process, but the sulfide a were minuscule. The spread of the sickness wasn’t due to the sulfides, it was due to the sociological effect of everyone thinking they were sick.

We have chemicals and contaminants today, it used to be witches and demons

Manifestation if a threat that I wholly imagined

115 documented cases of hysteria scares in the last 20 year.

Fax machine effect¬†. The first fax machine was expensive and worthless. It’s value doubled when they made the second one. Each time a fax machine was used, the value of the machines grew because they connected more people.

When you buy a fax machine, you buy access to the fax network…. Not jus a plastic box.

Also known as the Law of Plenitude ( not Kevin Kelley )

– this is related to podcasting, the first podcast was nearly worthless, but as the networks grow, the audience comes in and the marginal value of the medium grows.

My overall take away from The Tipping Point

Again Gladwell shifts the way I think. The most sticky points he made for me at the time of reading this (most of which I read on a tremendous walk from the Spit to Nobby’s Beach along the Gold Coast of Australia) was the Fax Machine Effect and the hysteria. The value of networks is so interesting to me, growing up in this time of insane networking (building the central nervous system for a new age of consciousness?) Of course, I always appreciate the idea that mass groups of people lose mass capacity for critical thinking. As a dedicated outsider, I find that group dynamics are the creepiest, most non-trustworthy places to be in and I appreciate a scientific writer doing the work to really show that in objective terms.

So this is another great one. Malcolm Gladwell is a stud.

If These Notes on The Tipping Point Were Helpful to You, I’m Happy for That

You can get a free copy of this book by singing up as a new member with Audible  through this link.

Amazon also sells the book and can send it your way right now if you click here.

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