Authored by Michael Gladwell 2000 from a Book Review from Wiki Summries 12/09 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
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.
Connectors are individuals who have ties in many different realms and act as conduits between them, helping to engender connections, relationships, and “cross-fertilization” that otherwise might not have ever occurred.
Mavens are people who have a strong compulsion to help other consumers by helping them make informed decisions.
Salesmen are people whose unusual charisma allows them to be extremely persuasive in inducing others’ buying decisions and behaviors.
Chapter 3: The Stickiness Factor: Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, and the Educational Virus. This refers to a unique quality that compels the phenomenon to “stick” in the minds of the public and influence their future behavior. An interesting element of stickiness, is the fact that it is often counter-intuitive, or contradictory to the prevailing conventional wisdom.
The PBS show Sesame Street represented a vast improvement in the “stickiness” of children’s television, in large part because it turned many of the long-established assumptions about children’s cognitive abilities and television-watching behaviors on their heads. These changes, based in large part on extensive research, resulted in a show that actually helped toddlers and preschoolers develop literacy.
Chapt 4: The Power of Context (Part 1)
NYC City Crime: If the environment or historical moment in which a trend is introduced is not right, it is not as likely that the tipping point will be attained. To illustrate the power of context, the strangely rapid decline in violent crime rates that occurred in the 1990s in New York City.
A number of New York City agencies began to make decisions based on the Broken Windows theory, which held that minor, unchecked signs of deterioration in a neighborhood or community could, over time, result in major declines in the quality of living.
To reverse these trends, city authorities started focusing on seemingly small goals like painting over graffiti, cracking down on subway toll skippers, and dissuading public acts of degeneracy. These changes in the environment allowed the other factors, like the decline in crack cocaine use and the aging of the population, to gradually tip into a major decline in the crime rate in the city.
Chapt 5: The Power of Context (Part 2): The Magic Number – 150
Clearly, in order for a trend to tip into massive popularity, large numbers of people need to embrace it. Groups of certain sizes and certain types can often be uniquely conducive to achieving the tipping point. He traces the path of the novel The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood from regional cult favorite to national best-seller. The unique content of the novel appealed strongly to reading groups of middle-aged women in Northern California, and that these women were uniquely well-positioned to catapult the book to national success as a result of an informal campaign of recommendations and advocacy.
Groups of < 150 members usually display a level of intimacy, interdependency, and efficiency that begins to dissipate markedly as soon as the group’s size increases over 150. This concept has been exploited by a number of corporations that use it as the foundation of their organizational structures and marketing campaigns. Comments: Have you ever experienced this phenomena? Please share your experience.