March 23, 2013

The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell - Book Review

Hi Guys,

I read the book ‘The Tipping Point’ written by Malcolm Gladwell a few days ago. After reading some very good reviews about the book, I started reading the book. The book is one of the best books I have read. The book revolves around the theme of spreading a Social Epidemic. The theme of the book is ‘How little things can make a big difference’

How does an epidemic start? A person is first affected by a virus or some other microbe. If the environmental factors suit the disease to spread, the epidemic is all set to grow. Similarly we often see many social incidences spreading in a very quick span of time. The recent example is the starting of Confessions page by college students across India.

Malcolm Gladwell analyzes the factors that contribute to the Social Epidemics with lot of examples from various fields. He defines ‘Three Rules of Epidemics’ to explain the mysterious behaviour.

The first one is the Law of the Few, where he says there are a few people who contribute to the spread of news. He gives them a name – Connectors. They are people who have contact with a large group of people and can convince people. There are also other people like Mavens, who know all the information around and Persuaders. With the insightful examples given, we are able to relate from our day to day life.

The next rule is the Stickiness factor, where he says that after the news is spread, you need something sticky for the Epidemic to remain sustainable. He gives example with the help of two Children programs in USA and how they were very successful for a long period.

The third one is the Power of Context, where he says that Environment is very important. He brings in example from New York about how Urban Crime was reduced. He says about the famous Broken Window theory which says that a small broken window paves way for more people to break bigger parts. Next he goes into a magical number principle where he says there is something very powerful with 150 and brings in examples from various places of how managing a group within 150 is very efficient.

After this chapter, he gives two case studies analyzing the various factors that were discussed earlier.

This is a very good book if you are interested in knowing about Human Behaviour, Psychology or how mind works. It is a very good book for marketing people to know more about marketing a product to a mass segment. The intuitive examples make the book a very interesting read.

The author has also written two other books – ‘Blink’ and ‘The Outliers’. Both the books are said to be as good as The Tipping Point or even better. I hope to read them soon.

Happy Reading!!!


  1. Seems like a very good read. You have reviewed the book fantastically well too!

  2. Gladwell is a good writer who informs and entertains. But I wouldn't consider him an expert on any subject.


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