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The Tipping Point

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics. (From Little, Brown and Company)

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

A critic looking at these tightly focused, targeted interventions might dismiss them as Band-Aid solutions. But that phrase should not be considered a term of disparagement. The Band-Aid is an inexpensive, convenient, and remarkably versatile solution to an astonishing array of problems. In their history, Band-Aids have probably allowed millions of people to keep working or playing tennis or cooking or walking when they would otherwise have had to stop. The Band-Aid solution is actually the best kind of solution because it involves solving a problem with the minimum amount of effort and time and cost.


From The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell ©2001. Published by Little, Brown and Company.

Author interviews

Eleanor's conversation with Malcolm Gladwell, on stage at McGill University in 2013. In his latest book, "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants", Gladwell challenges the way we think about obstacles and disadvantages. 1:13:45