Malcolm Gladwell's nonfiction book The Tipping Point is unique in that it combines elements of historical and instructive nonfiction. Gladwell has always been fascinated by the exceptional; His books include Outliers, which describes how people become exceptional, Blink, which explains how people do exceptional things, and The Tipping Point, which outlines the methods by which ideas and social trends spread at an exceptional pace. Unlike the theories in Blink and Outliers, which are based largely on uncontrollable factors, The Tipping Point provides an actual methodology for which to spread a powerful social idea. By observing Gladwell's laws governing social epidemics, one can turn an idea or invention into a world-changing cultural phenomenon. According to Malcolm Gladwell, his book has transformed into a powerful marketing tool.

This section will attempt to explain how the laws of "tipping" can be used by anyone.

Who can make your product stand above the rest?
Who can make your product stand above the rest?

The Law of the Few
For an explanation of mavens, connectors, and salesmen, see The Law of the Few
To spread any idea, or increase awareness of a product or service, the unique talents of "The Few" are needed. Connectors are incredibly useful for their ability to tell a vast quantity of people about a
product in a very short quantity of time. Mavens, if recruited, will inform anyone they meet about the merits of a product. Salesmen are the people who convince others to buy the product.

To see if there is a connector, maven, or salesman in your life, take a look at the personality quiz!

The Power of Context
For an explanation on how our environment affects us, see The Power of Context
Artificially adapting an environment can change the behavior of a group of individuals. People react differently when presented with different external pressures, so changing those pressures can provoke entirely different behavior. In the early 1980s, crime in New York subways was at an all time high. Head of the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority), Richard Ravitch, attempted to counter this by clearing off all graffiti and adopting a "Zero Tolerance" policy towards petty crime like fare skipping. This change in environment had an effect on would-be criminals. By the end of the decade, New York subways were safer and more efficient.

The Stickiness Factor
For an explanation of how we retain information, see The Stickiness Factor
The Stickiness Factor may be the most applicable of the three rules of epidemics. Whether it be a children's television show or a school report, subtle changes in presentation can drastically alter the way information is passed along. Advertisers can solidify their product in your mind by using specific visual or auditory cues. Teachers can help their students learn more effectively by dividing their curriculum into sections that are memorable and appealing. Ultimately, whenever information moves from one party to another, something can be done to make the receiver more susceptible to that information.

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