Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Tipping Point

I stole a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's bestselling extravaganza The Tipping Point off of the shelf in George's room in Larchmont. He's a smart guy and he pulls together lots of disparate material -- some of it interesting -- but it doesn't, at the end of the day, cohere. Here's what he tells us about social "epidemics":

  1. They are spearheaded by charismatic, well-connected people ("Salesmen", "Mavens", "Connectors") who know how to boil things down so they make sense to people
  2. They are "sticky," well-thought out and placed for their audiences
  3. Something else, which I should remember because he repeats it and would remember if it made sense and hung together
This book has been a huge business best seller, and has presumably been influential. I'll bet you executives the land around discuss what it means to their businesses in frequent flier clubs. But I don't see how telling them to have well-targeted products in the hands of well-connected smooth talker adds a whole lot to the discussion.

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