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Book 107: "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell



Title: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Read In: Trade Paperback
Genre: Business, Sociology
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company

I have heard a lot about this book since its release in 2002; mostly rave reviews. As I'm sure you're aware by now, this is not the type of book I usually read. I generally stick to fiction. That said, I found the book interesting. The stories, observations, and data were well relayed. This made it very interesting from a sociological perspective. However, as a business strategy, I found the book rather pointless. Gladwell makes it very clear that the types of people responsible for making the "tipping point" possible for any epidemic, are people that have to be naturally born to be that type of person. In fact, Gladwell makes it clear that it can't be learned and must be completely natural or it won't work.

The most interesting thing and perhaps the only useful piece of information, is the section on context. I found it incredibly interesting that context can shape how we react and process any given situation. The most intriguing example Gladwell provides is the cleaning of the subway system in New York City. In this example, the city managed to drastically lower the crime rate with one simple step, they literally cleaned up the subways. They removed the trash and graffiti from trains and began enforcing that people pay fare to legitimate entities by removing the criminals that had taken the reigns.

Overall, I wouldn't rave about this book, I discovered nothing even remotely life changing. But it was interesting to read how and why particular things have "tipped" over time.

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