Go to www.AnyoneButMeSeries.com for up to date info on Season three. In the aftermath of a turbulent trip to New York, Vivian and her close friends have a day of sudden encounters.
Video Rating: four / five
Go to www.AnyoneButMeSeries.com for up to date info on Season three. In the aftermath of a turbulent trip to New York, Vivian and her close friends have a day of sudden encounters.
A Doctor-Professor answers the old question “What is the single best thing we can do for our health” in a completely new way. Dr. Mike Evans is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital. twitter.com www.facebook.com Conceived, written, and presented by Dr. Mike Evans Illustrated by Liisa Sorsa Produced, directed, and filmed by Nick De Pencier Picture and sound edit by David Schmidt Gaffer, Martin Wojtunik Whiteboard construction by James Vanderkleyn Production assistant, Chris Niesing ©2011 Michael Evans and Mercury Films Inc.
Video Rating: 4 / 5
Matt (guest-star Barry Watson) returns home to tell Eric and Annie that Sarah has left him and he’s dropping out of medical school. Rabbi Glass offers Matt marital advice. Meanwhile, Kevin must decide whether or not to tell a very jealous Lucy that his ex-wife (guest star Mindy Burbano) is in town and they got invited to dinner with her. Martin’s aunt (guest star Keri Lynn Pratt) asks Eric to step in and talk Martin into moving to New York with her and Chandler asks Peter how he would feel about Chandler marrying his mother someday. Peter thinks something is amiss when his mother goes out of town for a business trip. Ruthie keeps something from her mother.
Effortless-Way College of Motoring (Blackpool) providing assist and advice on locating the clutch biting point, then moving off.
Video Rating: five / 5
Summary And Review of Malcolm Gladwell?s The Tipping Point: How Tiny Things Can Make a Big Distinction
The tipping point, as defined by the author Malcolm Gladwell, is “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point…” “The magic moment when idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire.” Gladwell insists that we can discover the scientific principles that govern social phenomena, epidemics and fads.
Gladwell’s first principle is known as the law of the few. Gladwell states that “the success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.” This principle suggests that an idea or behavior can spread because of the unusual qualities of a select group of individuals. These people are classified as connectors, mavens, or salesmen. The connectors are people who know an incredible amount of people and who have a knack for making acquaintances. These people typically have a social network of over a hundred people. Gladwell uses Paul Revere as an example of a connector. Mavens are people who acquire detailed knowledge on a day to day basis. They not only store knowledge, but they share their knowledge with others and collect more knowledge and information from those they share with. The salesmen are people who persuade us to buy what we buy. They have tremendous enthusiasm about a product and have outstanding negotiation skills
The second principle that Gladwell illustrates in his book is called the stickiness factor. Gladwell defines the stickiness factor as “the specific content of a message that renders its impact as memorable.” He examines why some products become a craze and why others don’t through his analysis of the stickiness factor.
The third principle that Gladwell examines in his book is the power of context. By simply altering the context of something you could alter the results. Gladwell states, “…the lesson of the power of context is that we are more than just sensitive to the changes in context. We’re exquisitely sensitive to them. And the kinds of contextual changes that are capable of tipping an epidemic are very different than we might ordinarily suspect.”
TheTipping Point gives us information on why some ideas become successful and others do not. Gladwell explores the phenomenon of the social epidemic and analyzes how and why they work they way they do.
The Ten Things Managers Need to Know fromThe Tipping Point
1. Ideas, products, messages and behaviors spread like viruses do.
2. The best way to understand trends is to think of them as epidemics.
3. Little changes can make a big difference.
4. Epidemics can rise and fall in one dramatic moment- the tipping point.
5. Social epidemics are driven by the efforts of a handful of exceptional people.
6. Connectors are people with a special gift of bringing the world together.
7. The word Maven comes from the Yiddish and means one who accumulates knowledge.
8. Salesmen have the skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced.
9. The stickiness factor says that there are specific ways of making a contagious message memorable.
10. Character is a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstance and context.
Full Summary of The Tipping Point
Gladwell explains in his book “the tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just 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.” He asks us “why is it that some ideas or behaviors or products start epidemics and others don’t? And what can we do to deliberately start and control positive epidemics of our own?” Gladwell’s has three principles: the law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context, which examine the world of social epidemics.
The Law of the Few
Gladwell’s concept of the Law of the Few encompasses that the reason an idea or behavior spread is because the unique qualities of certain individuals. These individuals are classified as Connectors, Mavens, or Salesmen.
Connectors are the kind of people that know everyone. Connectors have a special gift for bringing the world together. One of the connectors that Gladwell examines in his book is a man by the name of Roger Horchow. Robert Horchow is a successful businessman from Dallas who founded the Horchow Collection, a high-end mail order merchandise company. Gladwell explains that Horchow “has an instinctive and natural gift for making social connections. He’s not aggressive about it. He’s not one of those overly social; backslapping types for whom the process of acquiring acquaintances is obvious and self-serving. He’s more of an observer, with the dry, knowing manner of someone who likes to remain a little bit on the outside. He simply likes people, in a genuine and powerful way, and he finds the patterns of acquaintanceship and interaction in which people arrange themselves to be endlessly fascinating.” Horchow became successful because of the amount of people he knew. “Horchow collects people the same way others collect stamps.” Details are critical to Horchow. Connectors are important for more than the number of people they know, they are important because of the kinds of people they know as well.
Gladwell also examines the famous ride of Paul Revere. Paul Revere’s midnight ride started a word of mouth epidemic, but William Dawes’s ride did not. “Paul Revere was the Roger Horchow of his day. He was a connector…. He was a fisherman and a hunter, a card player and a theater-lover, a frequenter of pubs and a successful businessman…He had an uncanny genius for being at the center of events.” When the British army began to plan its attack on ammunition and arms stores, Revere overheard, and set out to Lexington that night, all the while spreading the news that the British are coming. People knew Revere and respected him. Dawes made a similar ride, trying to inform as many people as possible, but it didn’t even compare to what Revere had accomplished. According to Gladwell, “word-of-mouth epidemics are the work of Connectors. William Dawes was just an ordinary man.
The next group Gladwell writes about is the Mavens. “The word Maven comes from the Yiddish and means one who accumulates knowledge. In recent years, economists have spent a great deal of time studying Mavens, for the obvious reason that if marketplaces depend on information, the people with the most information must be most important.” Market Mavens are people who are aware of what prices should be and why and if they aren’t a certain way, alert management of a discrepancy. Gladwell writes about a Maven that he knows by the name of Mark Alpert. He describes him by stating, “ He talks quickly and precisely and with absolute authority. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t say that it was hot yesterday. He would say that we had a high of 87 degrees yesterday. He doesn’t walk up stairs. He runs up them, like a small boy. He gives the sense that he is interested in and curious about everything, that, even at his age, if you gave him a children’s chemistry set he would happily sit down right then and there and create some strange new concoction.” Alpert knew about certain hotels, car deals, and television sets. He knew basically everything you needed to know about anything in the Market place. “Obviously they know things that the rest of us don’t. They read more magazines than the rest of us; more newspapers, and they may be the only people who read junk mail…Mavens have the knowledge and the social skills to start word-of-mouth epidemics. What set Mavens apart, though, is not so much what they know but how they pass it along. The fact that Mavens want to help, for no other reason than because they like to help, turns out to be an awfully effective way of getting someone’s attention…. Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know. For a social epidemic to start, though, some people are actually going to have to be persuaded to do something.” That’s where the next group of people come in, the salesmen.
Gladwell explains, “Mavens are data banks. They provide the message. Connectors are social glue: they spread it. But there is also a select group of people-Salesmen- with the skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing, and they are as critical to to the tipping of word-of-mouth epidemics as the other two groups.” Gladwell writes about a financial planned by the name of Tom Gau. Gau’s firm is the biggest in southern California, and one of the top financial planning firms in the country. “ Gau’s pitch is that his firm offers clients a level of service and expertise they’ll have difficulty getting anywhere else.” “..What was interesting about Gau is the extent to which seemed to be persuasive in a way quite different from the content of his words. He seems to have some kind of indefinable trait, something powerful and contagious and irresistible that goes beyond what comes out of his mouth, that makes people who meet him want to agree with him. It’s energy. It’s enthusiasm. It’s charm. It’s likeability. It’s all those things and yet something more.”
The Stickiness Factor
Gladwell describes the Stickiness Factor as “the specific content of a message that renders its impact as memorable.” He tries to make us think about why do we buy certain things over another. What is the reason for watching one show over another? Gladwell writes about the stickiness factor of the famous children’s television show known as Sesame Street. Joan Cooney was a television producer in the late 60’s who wanted to come up with a show targeted at toddlers. “Her agent of infection was television, and the “virus” she wanted to spread was literacy,” Gladwell explains. Sesame Street has been proved to increase the reading and learning skills of its audience. Gladwell states, “The creators of Sesame Street accomplished something extraordinary, and the story of how they did that is a marvelous illustration of the second of the rules of the Tipping Point, the Stickiness Factor.” Producers learned that they could make small adjustments in how ideas were presented to the youth. These small adjustments overcame television’s problems as a teaching tool and made what the show had to say stick. “Sesame Street succeeded because it learned how to make television sticky,” according to Gladwell.
The Power of Context
The Power of Context relates to how human behavior is sensitive to its environment. Gladwell states, “ Epidemics are sensitive to conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which they occur.” Gladwell goes into great detail about this when he talks about the crime rate in New York City in the 80’s. Gladwell’s reasoning for the decrease in crime in New York is known as the Broken Windows theory. He points out that if there are many broken windows in a neighborhood, soon more windows will be broken and more crimes will begin to take place. It seems like criminals see broken windows and conclude that people don’t care about this certain part of town, therefore, if I commit a crime, I should be able to get away with it. If it appears as if people don’t care about the conditions of a certain area, chances are, they don’t. New York had an epidemic of crime. Gladwells states that, “crime is contagious just as fashion is contagious.” A man by the name of Kelling was hired by the New York transit authority as a consultant. Kelling was a firm believer in the Broken Windows theory and insisted that they worked on this aspect of crime. A new subway director by the name of David Gunn was brought in as well. Gunn was told not to worry about graffiti and other petty problems. Gunn insisted that they should start paying attention to the petty problems such as graffiti. All of the subway cars were wiped clean of graffiti and cleaned well. If someone would happen to graffiti one of the cars, the car was painted over before the next day. Because of this practice, crimes on subways decreased tremendously. A man by the name of William Bratton was hired as head of the transit police. He was a firm believer in the Broken Windows theory as well. Bratton didn’t decide to try to crack down on the robberies or other crimes that happen on a subway, instead, his first act of business was to crack down on fare-beating. Previously, transit police never gave fare-bating the time of day because it was only a dollar or so at stake. Bratton started having transit police dressed in regular clothes wait for fare-beaters. One by one fare-beaters were arrested and handcuffed and held to the side while the police continued their work. The idea was let criminals know that the police weren’t messing around anymore. It was to make criminals think if they are cracking down on fare-beating so hard, what will happen to me if they catch me robbing someone? It worked. Misdemeanor crimes were no longer going on unnoticed. Bratton was then appointed as chief of police under Mayor Giuliani and applied the same concepts to the city as a whole. Bratton started cracking down on jaywalkers, on public drunkenness and arrested for people peeing in the street. Crime fell quickly in the city. Murders, rapes, muggings, etc. were happening less and less due to making simple small changes. Gladwell says, “ Bratton and Giuliani pointed to the same cause. Minor, seemingly insignificant quality-of-life crimes, they said, were Tipping Points for violent crime.” Gladwell also uses the concept of the power of context to describe the decrease in the AIDS epidemic in Baltimore. Baltimore had a lot of drug addicts. The city would send out a van with people to hand out thousands of clean syringes to certain corners in the city at certain times of the week. Gladwell states, “The idea was that for every dirty, used needle that addicts hand over, they can get a free clean needle in return.” What the city failed to think of is that addicts are not very responsible. They are not good at being at a certain place at a certain time. Sometimes the van would come on a Monday and they were in the need for a clean syringe the next day, knowing that the van wouldn’t return until the following Monday. After a while a group of men were coming to the van with backpacks filled with 300 or more dirty syringes. They were getting clean syringes in return and selling them to other addicts for . At first, the coordinators of the needle program weren’t happy, but after the AIDS rate went down, they had second thoughts. The rate went down because these men selling the syringes were there when the van wasn’t. An addict didn’t have to use a dirty needle because he couldn’t wait until the van came on Monday. Instead, he could find one of the guys selling the needles at anytime. They were like a 24-hour store and didn’t cost anything additional to the city of Baltimore. These backpack sellers knew where to find the addicts and knew when to be there. The AIDS rate dropped significantly due to the small change from a van giving free needles to addicts to a group of addicts selling clean needles to other addicts.
Gladwell explains over and over again throughout his book that the smallest things can make the biggest difference and he illustrates this theory beautifully through the examples he gives. The view he has on how social epidemics work and the way he explains them is exciting and addictive.
The Video Lounge
Twitter’s Tipping Point
This video is an interview with Katie Couric and Twitter’s co founder Biz Stone. He explains that Twitter’s first tipping point occurred in Austin, Texas. There was a technology conference in 2007 where twitter founders were being able to see their product being used in the wild for the first time. After the conference, a man tweeted that he was leaving a bar because it was too loud and crowded and that he would be going to another bar. By the time the man walked 10 minutes to the other bar, a large amount of people had gotten his tweet and gone to the bar as well.
Why I think:
With business conditions today, what the author wrote is true because companies spend millions and millions of dollars on advertising for their product and often end up with undesirable results. If advertising alone made companies successful, then every company would be in good standing. Companies should look beyond advertising and try to examine what they can do to make their product stick. As Gladwell pointed out in his book with the sesame street dilemma, by changing one simple aspect, your product can become sticky. Companies should also focus on finding the connectors, mavens, and salesmen. These are the people that make a product successful. Also, by altering the context of the situation, you can also alter the results. There is no proven way to make a product become a trend or epidemic, but by looking at Gladwell’s theories, we can know to look further than the typical means of advertising and promotion. If we know certain ideas, behaviors and products start certain epidemics, there is a possibility that we can start and control an epidemic of our own.
If I were the author of the book, I would have done these three things differently:
1. Gladwell illustrates through his writing how enthusiastic he is about the people he has met and interviewed, however, when Gladwell begins writing about technology and processes, he loses the enthusiasm and loses the reader’s attention. If I were Gladwell I would have stuck to talking about the people who are connectors, mavens, and salesmen.
2. Around page 115 Gladwell begins to lose my attention. He spends too long trying to explain certain things, such as the stickiness of a kid’s television show. The amount of time that he put into this section caused me to have an information overload. I would have cut this section down to fewer pages.
3. I think that Gladwell takes his theory a little too far when he begins to talk about suicides in Micronesia as being contagious. I find it hard to believe that people taking their own lives can be contagious and if I were he I would have left this part out as well.
Reading this book made me think differently about the topic in these ways:
1. Reading this book made me think about how trends work. By just altering one small thing, you can make something go from being nothing to being the next hot thing on the market.
2. Not everyone can be good at selling a product. There are certain people with an enthusiasm about selling and have a knack for persuading the undecided.
3. All kinds of fads exist around us, but only certain ones take because of their stickiness factor.
I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by:
1. Thinking differently about the way products become fads.
2. Analyzing why some behaviors or products start epidemics and why others do not.
3. Examining what I can do to deliberately start and control positive epidemics of my own.
Here is a sampling of what others have said about the book and its author:
…An imaginative… treatise that’s likely…to generate some buzz… its hard not to be persuaded by Gladwell’s thesis. Not only does he assemble a fascinating mix of facts in support of his theory… but he also manages to weave everything into a cohesive explanation of human behavior. What’s more, we appreciate the optimism of a theory that supports, as another pundit once called it, the power of one…there’s little doubt that the material will keep you awake…
The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, is a lively, timely and engaging study of fads… Gladwell, who made his career in journalism as a science writer, has a knack for explaining psychological experiments clearly; The Tipping Point is worth reading just for what it tells us about how we try to make sense of the world.
-The New York Times Book Review- Alan Wolfe
When it was first published in 2000, Malcolm Gladwell’s book about social epidemics “tipped.” It made the bestseller lists both here and abroad. It became a popular phenomenon. This is what The Tipping Point is all about. Gladwell’s concept, the topic of sociologists since the 1970s, is that trends and ideas take off reach the tipping point for some reason, usually because of the influence of a small group or even one individual. He offers as his first example the resurgence in popularity among the cool people of Hush Puppies, they brushed-suede shoes that were down to sales of a mere 30,000 pairs a year. Suddenly in 1995 they became a hot property and they sold 430,000 pairs a year. The same phenomenon occurs with crimes, children’s television (Sesame Street and Blues Clues), smoking among the young, direct mail, and Paul Revere’s famous ride. Gladwell says that the best way to think of these trends is to see them as epidemics; they spread like viruses do. And in that spread some people are more influenced than others. He posits three rules: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context. His explanations are persuasive. His ideas on smoking among youngsters and how to slow it should be required reading by government officials at all levels. In his new afterward, Gladwell touches the AIDS epidemic, improving public schools in tough neighborhoods, the massacre at Columbine High School, and finding Mavens, those influential people who make things happen. Highly recommended for its clear exposition of important issues.
– Janet Julian- KLIATT
Most scholarly reviews seem to have a positive outlook on Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point. Every review points out the way Gladwell examines the social epidemic. Janet Julian with KLIATT takes it a step further by saying that Gladwell was able to successfully create a product to reach a tipping point- his own book.
Brady, Diane. “What Turns an Idea into a Trend.” Rev. of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Business Week, 20 Mar. 2000. Web. 29 Oct. 2010. .
Julian, Janet. “Glawell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference-Book Review.” Rev. of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. KLIATT, May 2002. Web. 29 Oct. 2010. .
Wolfe, Alan. “The Next Big Thing: Malcolm Gladwell Examines What Makes Fads, Well, Faddish.” Rev. of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. The New York Times Book Review, 5 Mar. 200. Web. 29 Oct. 2010. .
Contact Info: To contact the author of this summary and review of The Tipping Point, pleaseemail email@example.com.
David C. Wyld (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at http://wyld-business.blogspot.com/. He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (http://reverseauctionresearch.blogspot.com/), a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. Dr. Wyld also maintains compilations of works he has helped his students to turn into editorially-reviewed publications at the following sites:
Management Concepts (http://toptenmanagement.blogspot.com/)
Book Reviews (http://wyld-about-books.blogspot.com/) and
Travel and International Foods (http://wyld-about-food.blogspot.com/).
Summary And Review of The Tipping Point: How Small Points Can Make a Massive Distinction by Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point is the biography of a simple idea and how little things can make a big difference causing a “tip” in a circumstance. The Tipping Point is one dramatic moment in an epidemic when everything can change all at once. Malcolm Gladwell begins with the example of “Hush Puppies” shoes and also speaks of the fall of crime in New York. One may stop to wonder how these two very different examples share a basic underlying pattern. They both exhibit contagious behavior and in each case little changes caused big effects.
Gladwell speaks of three rules of epidemics: The Law of Few, The Stickiness Factor and The Power of Context. In the first rule, Law of Few, he illustrates certain type of people who help tip the scales. These are connectors, mavens and salesman. He gives an example of a famous connector, Paul Revere, which was a most surprising story. In introducing the next rule, the Stickiness factor, Gladwell uses Sesame Street and Blues Clues to exhibit repetition as a learning tool in the youth of today. The third rule, The Power of Context, touched on the crime rate of New York City. A little gesture such as cleaning graffiti off the subway walls helped to reduce crime in the area. He introduced the “Broken Glass Theory” depicting that unchecked signs of deterioration in a neighborhood or community could result in a declining quality of living. If a window is broken or left un-repaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares or no one is in charge. This could lead to an epidemic of crime. Gladwell mentioned the magic number of 150. Groups of 150 display levels of intimacy and efficiency. Groups larger than this size tend to be toxic. This strategy of smaller groups is found in many corporations’ organizational structures today.
Gladwell introduces several case studies throughout the book. Airwalk shoes, teenage smoking and breast cancer awareness to name a few.
The Tipping Point is a magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire. It’s a book about change. In particular, it’s a book that presents a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does. The Tipping Point is an examination of the social epidemics that surround us.
Full Summary of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
The book, The Tipping Point, How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell identifies and explains mechanisms which cause certain trends to “tip” and take hold and others to fail. Gladwell portrays examples from marketing, medicine, literature, politics, and other spheres that show basic moves and conditions that can transform a small change into a huge awakening. In the beginning of his book, Gladwell uses an example of “Hush Puppies” shoes and how a handful of hipsters in Manhattan started wearing the shoes and caused a shift in sales. It took a group of “opinion makers” to wear the shoes; other saw them and copied the style. After a few fashion designers used them, “Hush Puppies” reached the “tipping point”; causing this brand of shoe to take off in sales and till today still exits in stores everywhere.
Gladwell identifies how epidemics are started. He assesses that most trends and styles are born and spread according to certain types of transmission and also in conveying certain style and ideas. Gladwell introduces three rules of epidemics; the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor and the Power of Content. The tipping points that transform a phenomenon into an influential trend require a certain type of people. The success to any kind of social epidemic is dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gift. Those particular people make things happen. They are usually energetic, connected, knowledgeable, persuasive and influential among their peers. They are connectors, mavens, and salesman. Connectors are individuals who have many ties with people. They have a special gift for bringing the world together. They tend to be outgoing and helpful. They are the kind of people to know when you need a job because they know somebody who knows somebody. A famous connector he uses as an example was Paul Revere and his ride warning the patriots, “The British are coming”. This was an example of a word of mouth epidemic. People knew and trusted Paul Revere. They believed him and followed his warnings. At the very same time, William Dawes, also rode warning people of the same thing. No one listened to Mr. Dawes because he was not as well known as Paul Revere. His message did not stick like Paul Revere’s historical message.
Gladwell then speaks about mavens. The word Maven comes from the Yiddish and it means one who accumulates knowledge. Mavens are people who have a strong desire to help other consumers by helping them make decisions. They are information specialist. To be a maven is to be a teacher. Mavens are information brokers, sharing and trading what they know. They are also avid readers of “Consumer Reports”. Mavens have the knowledge and the social skills to start word-of-mouth epidemics, but don’t how to pass it along. The third type of person is the salesman who twists arms and motivates people into to actions. Great salesmen have the ability to enter into an arrangement, establish themselves quickly and proceed rapidly to sell items. Salesmen have skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing and they are critical to the tipping of word-of-mouth epidemics.
As the book continues on, Gladwell introduces an important factor in tipping items. This is called the “stickiness”. Stickiness is a specific factor quality of a message that makes something memorable and grabs people’s imagination. The Stickiness factor states there are specific ways of making a contagious message memorable. These are simple changes of the presentation of structuring of information that can make a big difference in how much of an impact it makes. An example of the stickiness factor is the children’s show, Sesame Street. The makers of Sesame Street use this repetitive factor to teach kids with rhymes and rhythms. The same teaching segment of the show is presented throughout the week repetitively before a new concept is introduced. This method helps children understand and comprehend by using visual-blending exercises. One example of this showed segments that teach children that reading consists of blending together distinct sounds. In one, “Hug”, a female Muppet, approaches the word HUG in the center of the screen. She stands behind the H, sounding it out carefully, and then moves to the U, and then the G. She does it again, moving from left to right, pronouncing each letter separately, before putting the sounds together to say “hug”. As she does, the Muppet Herry Monster enters and repeats the words as well. The segment ends with the Herry Monster hugging the delighted little girl Muppet. The legacy of Sesame Street was if you paid careful attention to the structure and format of your material, you could enhance, “stickiness”. Sesame Street today is watched by children all over the world in an effort to better prepare them in their future education.
Another aspect of mechanisms that cause trends to “tip” into mass productivity is the next term Gladwell points out, the Power of Context. When environmental conditions are introduced and are not right, it is not likely that the tipping point will occur. Gladwell speaks of the rapid decline in violent crime rates that occurred in 1990’s in New York City. He acknowledged a variety of factors that played a role in the decline. One instance was the removal of graffiti from the subway areas. With a clean environment, crime rate began to decline. Criminologists James Q. Wilson and George Kelling developed the “Broken Window theory”. This theory basically proposed that crime was the natural result of a disorder. If unchecked signs of deterioration in a neighborhood or community were seen by all, this could result in a declining quality of living. If a window is broken or left un-repaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares or no one is in charge. In the cities, graffiti was equivalent of broken windows which initiated more serious crimes. This is an epidemic theory of crime. Crime is contagious and can start with a broken window or graffiti and spread through an entire community. Cities began the clean up which allowed other factors like the decline in crack cocaine use and the again of the population to gradually tip into a major decline in the crime rate.
Gladwell also mentioned for a trend to tip, you need a large number of people to embrace it. Certain sizes and types can also achieve a tipping point. In the novel, “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” appealed strongly to middle-aged women in Northern California. These women were able to push the book into a national success. These women related their own experiences to the book and through word of mouth caused the novel to become a best seller. This book was an emotionally sophisticated character-driven, multi-layered novel that expressed reflection and much discussion in book groups. The novel became a social experience, a conversational piece and tipped into a larger word of mouth epidemic. The lesson of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood states that the small close knit groups have the power to magnify the epidemic of a message or idea.
In continuing discussion on group size, Gladwell introduces his theory of the magic of the number of 150. Group sizes play a large part in tipping scales. He refers to 150 as the magic number of a group size. This group size displays levels of intimacy and efficiency. Groups larger than this size tend to be more toxic. With a smaller group, you can become comfortable and rely on the other members to exhibit qualities of accuracy. Many corporations today use this factor as a foundation for their organization structure.
In the case study sections in this book, Gladwell discusses the rise and decline of the Airwalk shoe. It was originally geared toward skateboards in Southern California. It obtained national recognition through advertising techniques that portrayed“coolness” about them. By using fad styling in their shoes, Airwalks were able to create a product that was always right on target and exactly what the public wanted. The advertising agency came up with a series of dramatic images, single photographs showing the Airwalk user relating to his shoes in some weird way. In one, a young man is wearing an Airwalk shoe on his head, with laces hanging down like braids, as his laces are being cut by a barber. The ads were put on billboards and in “wild postings” on construction-site walls and in alternative magazines. As Airwalks grew, the advertising company went into television. The strength of the Airwalks advertising campaign was in more than the look of their work. Airwalk tipped because its advertising was founded very explicitly on the principles of epidemic transmission.
Gladwell touches on the Translation Factor. Translator takes ideas and information from a highly specialized world and translates them into a language the rest of us can understand. The most sophisticated analysis of the process of translation comes from the study of rumors. As we remember the child’s game of starting a rumor and as it is communicated to each person it is heightened and exaggerated totally changing the initial comment. In a rumor, there are three directions that are followed. The story is first leveled. Details that are essential for understanding the true meaning of the incident are left out. Then the rumor/story is sharpened. The details that remain were made more specific. Finally, a process of assimilation takes place; the story was changed so it made sense to those spreading the rumor. What mavens, connectors and salesmen do to an idea in order to make it contagious is to alter it in a way that specific details are dropped and others are exaggerated so that the message itself comes to acquire a deeper meaning; thus causing a “tip”.
Gladwell used the spread of teenage smoking as another example of the tipping point. Once again he reiterates the idea of “coolness” of smoking which causes a teenager to start smoking. He also noted that making smoking sound dangerous and rebellious appeals to teenagers. Larger advertising companies continuously pump money into campaigns enticing teenagers. Many teenagers end up continuing their cigarette experiment until they get hooked. The smoking experience is so memorable and powerful that they cannot stop smoking. The habit “sticks”. Telling teenagers about the health risks of smoking; “It makes you wrinkle”, “It can give you lung cancer and you can die”, doesn’t matter to them in the least. It is exciting, mysterious, dangerous and cool and especially frowned upon by their parents; all the elements to make teenagers want to smoke more. Emotional problems such as low self-esteem, unhealthy and unhappy home life, depression could lead to smoking in the first place among these teens.
Another important example of the concept of tipping was a nurse named Georgia Sadler who began a campaign to increase knowledge and awareness of breast cancer and diabetes in a black community in San Diego. She moved her campaign from churches to beauty salons. Women would sometimes spend two to eight hours having their hair braided. Stylist form bonds with their customers so she initiated the stylist to present a constant cycle of new information and gossipy tidbits on breast cancer awareness and diabetes into the salons. She wrote material up in large print and put it on laminated sheets. She set up evaluation programs to find out if it was working and if she was changing attitudes to get women to have mammograms and diabetes testing. Her program worked. She tipped the scales in her quest to help these women.
In conclusion, the first lesson of the Tipping Point is starting epidemics requires concentrating resources on a few key areas. The Law of the Few says that connectors, mavens, and salesman are responsible for starting work of mouth epidemics. There are times when we need a convenient shortcut; a way to make a lot out of a little, and that is what Tipping Points in the end are all about. There is difficulty in the world of the Tipping Point as hopefulness as well. By controlling a group size, we can improve its interest to new ideas. By repetitive presentation of information, we can improve its stickiness. Tipping points are a reaffirmation of the potential for charge and the power of intelligent action. The world around us seems like an immovable place, but with the slightest push – it can be tipped.
To contact the author of this summary/review, please email Lisa Patti at Lisa.Patti@selu.edu.
David C. Wyld (email@example.com) is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at http://wyld-business.blogspot.com/. He also has a book summary/review blog that is a collection of his students’ works at http://wyld-about-books.blogspot.com/.