Authored by Michael Gladwell 2000 from a Book Review from Wiki Summries 12/09 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
SUMMARY. By offering readers a groundbreaking analysis of how trends are sparked and take hold, Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point became an exemplification of the very processes he was describing – Trends. The processes and mechanisms by which some Trends achieve exponential popularity while others sputter and fade into oblivion have long been thought to be mysterious and resistant to analysis.
The nature of modern culture is such that many new ideas are constantly being introduced from a wide variety of sources, ranging from trend-setting teens and twenty-somethings in the nation’s metropolitan centers to new product offerings from established corporations. Some of these achieve a measure of steady, consistent success, some fail, and some take off on an upward trajectory of exponential popularity and influence.
Based on his in-depth research spanning a number of different fields, industries, and scholarly disciplines, Gladwell identifies three key factors that each play in role in determining whether a particular trend will “tip” into wide-scale popularity. Gladwell’s discussion and illustration of the concepts of the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context comprise the majority of the book.
1. The Law of the Few contends that before widespread popularity can be attained, a few key types of people must champion an idea, concept, or product before it can reach the tipping point. Gladwell describes these key types as Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen. If individuals representing all three of these groups endorse and advocate a new idea, it is much more likely that it will tip into exponential success.
2. The Stickiness Factor as the quality that compels people to pay close, sustained attention to a product, concept, or idea. Stickiness is hard to define, and its presence or absence often depends heavily on context. Often, the way that the Stickiness Factor is generated is unconventional, unexpected, and contrary to received wisdom.
3. The Power of Context is enormously important in determining whether a particular phenomenon will tip into widespread popularity. Even mi’nute changes in the environment can play a major factor in the propensity of a given concept attaining the tipping point. The implications of small variations in social groups and minor changes in a neighborhood or community environment, as shifts that can cause a new idea to tip.
Chapter 1: The 3 Rules of Epidemics: Most trends, styles, and phenomena are born and spread according to routes of transmission and conveyance that are strikingly similar. In most of these scenarios, (ie, the sudden spike in the popularity of Hush Puppies sales), there is a crucial juncture, which is the “tipping point,” that signals a key moment of crystallization that unifies isolated events into a significant trend.
Chapter 2: The Law of the Few: Connectors, Mavens, & Salesmen The attainment of the tipping point that transforms a phenomenon into an influential trend usually requires the intervention of a number of influential types of people. On the path toward the tipping point, many trends are ushered into popularity by small groups of individuals that can be classified as Connectors, Mavens, & Salesmen.
(Chapters 2, 3, 4 & 5 continued in Premium Content)