In a departure from my normal waffle, I wanted to share a book I’ve just read “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, that I’ve come to very late – it was first published ten years ago and that anyone who’s hung around with marketers for as long as I have really ought to have read it by now!
I like this kind of book (I read a lot of Seth Godin – yeah, yeah, who doesn’t?) where authors bring to life their serious marketing theory and techniques through stories – but this one surprised me.
Here’s what the author says on his website, as a reading guide:
1. The Tipping Point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. At what point does it become obvious that something has reached a boiling point and is about to tip?
2. The possibility of sudden change is at the center of the idea of the Tipping Point — big changes occurring as a result of small events. If we agree that we are all, at heart, gradualists, our expectations set by the steady passage of time, is it reassuring to think that we can predict radical change by pinning their tipping points? Can we really ensure that the unexpected becomes the expected?
Now that’s what I expected to learn.
What I didn’t expect to learn was about the Tipping Point being applied to Revere’s ride at the dawn of American Independence, fighting violent crime in New York, TV for kids, research into why people smoke, the reasons why groups of 150 are good and the relationship to the evolution of our brains…. and, and, and… a whole host of absolutely fascinating stories.
Clearly Gladwell knows his stuff, these stories brought the points to life, making it a super read and elevating this book from a simple marketing book, to something I’d recommend to anyone.