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The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

I had mentioned in the previous blog post, Tuesday’s with Morrie, that balance is one of our core values here at Annex. We have a bookcase full of titles that continues to grow, but for a first business book review, I chose a best seller and new classic, The Tipping Point.

There are three rules to take away from the book: the Law of the Few, the Stickyness Factor, and the Power of Context, which I will break down starting with the most important idea onwards:

The Law of Few The Law of Few- is where a word of mouth epidemic begins. Without three types of individuals, no sparks fly because they are the people who have the most influence.  There are connectors, the people who know how to awaken ideas and get the ball rolling.  There are the mavens, the people with all the information; these subject matter experts initiate discussions and are the helpers of the marketplace. Lastly, there are the Sales people, who are skilled in persuasion and reading body language.  The Tipping Point arises when this formula comes together to create a phenomenon out of a single idea.

The Stickiness Factor Messages need to stick to people, they need to be memorable.  The stickiness factor is achieved through focus groups and testing in order to understand what will be the most effective way to keep the attention of your desired audience.

The Power of Context To change human behavior, you must first take a step back and change the context in which the problem exists. Context matters and companies will fail if they don’t adapt their way of thinking- as they grow.

By putting these three rules into practice, Gladwell proves his theory by using examples from popular television shows, high power organizations, and business practices. What it comes down to is that the way we think about selling products and spreading ideas will become more prosperous when we apply the Tipping Point to new ideas.  It’s a phenomenon that follows the same classic principle that a single person can make a difference, and when you surround yourself with the right people, you will win.

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