Friday, March 16, 2007

The Tipping Point


Ever wondered how crocs (pictured above) caught on to be best sellers? Or anything for that matter be it a book, a song or even a hair style (or goatees for guys)? This is what The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell attempts to answer. According to the author, “ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.”

Epidemics such as the flue for example depend on the people who transmit them. Certain people have a higher chance of transmitting the virus than others (your barber for example working on the goatee sees a lot of other people). This is called the Law of the Few. Another factor is how strong the virus is (the Stickiness Factor). And finally the Power of Context, which could be the weather or close proximity of people, all leading to higher spread of the virus.

The author applies those three agents of change to analyze various phenomena in the world around us and how to go about reaching a Tipping Point. This is a useful tool to understand local trends such as the rise of political Islam. It is said that this book influenced Tony Blair back in the day when the conservatives were in power. Tony Blair and his liberal labor party managed to reach a Tipping Point. Can we do the same?

7 comments:

eshda3wa said...

can we?
i want to just come out n say yes ofcourse we can
but thinking about it for over two seconds makes me think, maybe not

Happy Wolf said...

crocs ! is that what they call it? Athletes Foot have got them in zillion colors !
It's a crime on Footwear Industry !Seriously!!!

bu ziyad said...

Just to clear my conscience I am not against Islam but those who misuse it to impose a way of life on others and disrespect personal freedom.

Anonymous said...

Crocs maybe comfortable, but they're ugly

Kind of like political Islam!

Anonymous said...

i read bits and pieces of the book sometime back and i remeber something about new york crime rate declining after reaching very high rates because of a contageous social responisbilty, it would be cool if this tool or study can be applied to make people respect laws with minimal law enforcement measures in kuwait. like not smoking in non smoking areas or not parking in no parking areas.

Kinan said...

Sounds pretty similar to Freakonomics, at least in concept.

I just bought it recently. Haven't started reading it yet. But once i am done I am definitely posting a review :) Let's see if we agree on some the ideas proposed in it.

bu ziyad said...

Kinan: il be on the look out for your review!