I’m within a few pages of finishing The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a book I vaguely remember hearing about a while back but not pursuing until I saw it referenced in a book by Phil Vischer. I finally picked up a copy this past Saturday at Borders and haven’t been able to put it down. It’s about how social epidemics spread — and it’s fascinating.
He talks about the three types of people who help create and spread social epidemics — connectors, mavens, and salespeople. A connector is someone who is well-connected. The maven is an information gatherer and disseminator. The salespeople is a persuader. These three are what he calls the Law of the Few … that it only takes a few people to create a wave of change.
He also discusses principles of stickiness — what enables one message or product or trend to stick while others don’t? In addition to this, there is the influence of context or environment on the probability of an idea taking root and spreading.
I almost hesistated to put Gladwell’s picture up since it might prejudice you one way or the other — but I kind of like it. His hair is actually a bit funkier on the dust cover of The Tipping Point.