The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Paperback: 304 pages
The information presented in The Tipping Point is not necessarily business/marketing related. In fact, it’s more social commentary than anything else. While this is more an informational book than a strategic one anybody in the marketing industry should find this book extremely engaging as it has a lot to offer to those of us who want to learn more about how and why certain things happen in the marketing sphere.
The premise of The Tipping Point is that some things develop slowly over time but then suddenly reach a point where they take off . It can be a sudden surge or a sudden decline, depending on the circumstances. Whether it’s a disease, information, a product, or anything else, there is a certain point where things suddenly change. A change that is outside of past projections and does not conform to the previous patterns. That’s when they reach their “tipping point”. Suddenly diseases become more widespread, information creates a furor, products skyrocket or decline in sales, etc.
Malcolm Gladwell takes us through a series of stories that show how trends are often created, both in society and in business. Sometimes these are the result of getting things to the right people at the right time, and sometimes they can be manufactured. It can even be a combination of the two. But one thing is for sure, to get something to “tip” whether it happens naturally or through a lot of research, it must be genuine. But as the sub-title suggests, tipping is rarely about doing big things, but doing small things well.
Several good examples are made in the real of marketing, specifically a history of Sesame Street and Blues Clues and why those shows have been as effective as they are. We also learn the anatomy of how and why certain things tip. This was one of the most fascinating reads I’ve had all year and, again, even though it’s not directly a business book, it is certainly a book businesses can learn a thing or two from.