The Tipping point : how little things can make a big difference by Malcolm Gladwell (Abacus, 2000) is a collection of stories and research outcomes about the rather strange phenomenon which causes something which was on a gradual increase or decrease to suddenly peak or plummet. An outbreak of disease can suddenly become an epidemic, crime figures can jump or fall for no apparent reason, fashion trends can suddenly take off. Gladwell takes a closer look at many of these incidents to determine what it was that caused the situation to suddenly reach a tipping point and create an outcome that was out of proportion to what you would expect.

As I said previously it took me quite a while to read this book as it is mind stretching to be presented with so many incidents where situations develop in unanticipated ways. Gladwell employs a range of terms to help explain what he has discovered. These include the connectors, the mavens, and the salesmen who are people who have an unusual effect on situations; plus the stickiness factor which refers to the ability to continually repeat outcomes so products or services become surprisingly successful. As Gladwell examines situations where these people or products/services operate he notices predictable trends.

If someone with a new product or service can learn the lessons of the tipping point and harness its power, it will work to their advantage.

My next post: Devotional Thought : Revelation 7:1