The Tipping Point

How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

This best-seller explores the little changes that can have big effects. The author explains how one imaginative person applying a wellplaced lever can move the world.

301 pages. ©2002.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted October 30, 2020


This is my second reading and I liked it more this time than the first. This book makes you think.


Review posted September 4, 2020


I have read this book a couple of times and each reading is interesting, with different views “sticking”.


Review posted August 10, 2020


This was an ok, easy to read non-fiction, business/sociology book. The author did a decent job putting information together in a clear, concise manner and I enjoyed the examples used throughout the book. Some examples used early on are carried through the entire book, i.e., Hush Puppies (shoe) fad, AIDS, etc. are clearly out of date but resonate even now. The Tipping Point explains the phenomenon of why some products, businesses, authors, etc become hugely successful (tip) while others never seem to break apart from the masses as anything special. The author introduced the following labels: Mavens: People that are very particular about products. They thoroughly research products or businesses and like to stay in the "know" about many things. "Mavens have the knowledge and social skills to start a word-of-mouth epidemic." Mavens are the data banks. They are the messengers. Connectors: People who KNOW a lot of people. Not just close friends, but acquaintances. Interesting to note, that a connector is not out for self-serving goals, i.e., authors acquiring massive GRs friends, but they are more observers who genuinely like people. They come off an airplane knowing names of several new people in their lives...People with the gift of "bringing the world together." Connectors are the social glue--they spread the word. Salesmen: People with the skills to persuade us when we aren't sure. They are the critical point for the "tipping" of word-of-mouth epidemic. Did enjoy the Afterword that the author added to this book because he addressed e-mail and it's overuse. He used the telephone as an example. Telemarketers, etc. Fax machines. All were neat when they weren't overused, now we are inundated with e-mails everyday and we don't take the time to respond to most and if we do, it's usually very short. A lot of good information packed into this book for business as well as sociology.


Review posted May 14, 2020


This book read very much like a textbook or documentary. Though interesting, it was not very entertaining. The audience it spoke to was very limited. If in sales, marketing or product development would find the information useful otherwise, tough to hold attention of the reader.


Review posted April 23, 2020


Interesting information, especially during these times. It is a little depressing to listen to though


Review posted March 19, 2020


This book was interesting but not as practical as some of the other books through this service. I listened to it as an audio book and found it somewhat difficult to engage with. It did not "hook" me as much as I would've liked.


Review posted March 16, 2020


This book is Malcom Gladwell style of telling you things through economics and not just common thinking. How one person can start an epidemic? This is now more relevant than ever


Review posted January 2, 2020


For the past several years I have been a big fan of Gladwell's podcast, and this book did not disappoint. It was a pleasurable and insightful read, and like many of Gladwell's podcasts, surprised me regarding human behavior, and why we do the things we do. He broke the book up into three sections, each section covering specific shared characteristics of a vast range of epidemics, and he used valid arguments and examples for why he chose three different traits to be the peculiar causes for large scale human movements. I was delighted by how much I learned from the book, as well as how much I enjoyed reading it.


Review posted November 6, 2019


This book has an interesting concept full of real-world examples. It describes how different epidemics can be caused by factors that influence the way it progresses. From Sesame Street to graffiti and crime in New York, this book describes how little things, or just one person can create a tipping point in numbers of crimes occurring or even on child literacy. It is an interesting concept of a book and is well written with many examples. I got the audio version in which the author reads it to the audience. I would recommend this book to people who want to understand how it does not necessarily take drastic changes or huge groups of people to start an epidemic, but rather a few things done very well and with the right individual to motivate it.

mona Staehr

Review posted October 31, 2019


Loved this book . Change is possible and happening all the time.


Review posted September 22, 2019


The Tipping Point is the first book by popular writer Malcolm Gladwell. It seeks to describe why some ideas spread faster than others, which the author likens to the spread of epidemics. He explains how effective messengers, the stickiness of the idea and the context in which the idea spreads determine whether or not ideas 'tip,' or become exponentially more popular than they were before. The author's arguments are effective, and his ideas outlined in this book are applicable to a wide range of fields. I highly recommend it to the general reader.


Review posted July 4, 2019


Super helpful in business, changed how I thought.


Review posted June 3, 2019


Social epidemiology, sociology, social economics. I could not figure out what category the Tipping Point fell into. The prose and content of Malcolm Gladwell’s works cannot be so easily contained. A pleasure to read, a pleasure to share.


Review posted May 25, 2019


Such an easy and entertaining read!


Review posted May 22, 2019


Amazing read!!!! applicable in life and helps to understand where and when things happen and how they're happening. Gladwell is does an amazing job show how one person can change the world.


Review posted April 9, 2019


Excellent. Practical


Review posted April 6, 2019


Agree with title then read this book. Unsure or disagree then you NEED to read this book.


Review posted February 28, 2019


There were a lot of interesting stories told to illustrate his point. Some of the topics discussed were the tipping point of sneakers, teenage smoking, teen suicide, Sesame Street and Blues Clues, crime and graffiti on the NYC subway system and a novel. I've already shared some of the stories with my husband and had a discussion about them.


Review posted February 25, 2019


I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book and can’t wait to design a yearlong study of it for 7th, 9th, and 11th grades. It’s phenomenal for personal development, written in a really entertaining style.


Review posted February 24, 2019


Two thumbs up!


Review posted February 18, 2019


Very interesting and a great companion read (listen) to the "Made to Stick" book by the Heath brothers. The research explaining how and why things happen is very thought provoking.


Review posted January 16, 2019


Very good read. Has some interesting points. I suggest this book!


Review posted January 8, 2019


A very nicely written book that was very helpful


Review posted November 5, 2018


Although less relevant in an Internet 2.0 world, Malcolm Gladwell still delivers nuggets of information important for us to read, internalize, and operationalize. Worth the read for sure.


Review posted November 2, 2018


I found this book very interesting. This book explored and more importantly explained the tipping point phenomenon. It showed how a small action with a specific target group could change the outcome in so many different circumstances. This is a charming and fascinating application of social psychological evidence of ways to approach and understand real life problems.


Review posted October 18, 2018


This was a wonderful book about what makes something tip to go viral. Studying past behavior he looks at clues to what makes something infectious to spread by word of mouth. This book is valuable to your non-profit/business to help you think about what you can do to make you stand out and get supporters for the work you are doing in the community and your business.


Review posted October 4, 2018


Malcolm Gladwell explains in an easy to understand manner the factors of how epidemics spread. I was able to relate the ideas to his case studies. I felt that the book began strong, but did wane towards the middle. Regardless, I believe this is a good book to better understand the different effects in society on epidemics.


Review posted August 5, 2018


I love Malcolm Gladwell's books and podcasts. His viewpoint rarely seems to get in the way of facts that he spends considerable effort to unearth. The tipping point is very readable, I would almost say entertaining, and enlightens the reader on the contributing factors behind some interesting trends on this world of ours.


Review posted July 4, 2018


Great book very thought provoking. Definitely recommend.


Review posted May 3, 2018


This was an intriguing topic and I enjoyed the format of CD. I listened to it in the car and would recommend it to a friend.


Review posted April 18, 2018


Everything by Malcolm Gladwell is gold.


Review posted March 28, 2018


The only reason I was able to power through the first chapter was because I had read Blink and I was fascinated by how Gladwell found connection in such a diverse subjects to point to one phenomena. I am glad that I did because the book has helped re-shape how I see problems; specifically I think about his analysis of teenage epidemics when thinking about school shootings. Some of his examples were restated and the restated, especially in the first chapter, and it made the book much longer than necessary.


Review posted March 3, 2018


''The Tipping Point,'' by Malcolm Gladwell, is a lively, timely and engaging study of fads. Some of those he writes about fit snugly into the long tradition of crowd behavior: out-of-fashion Hush Puppies resurged into popularity in 1994 and '95; teenagers, despite repeated health warnings, continue to smoke and in the past few years have been doing so in increasing numbers; and in 1998 a book called ''Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood'' reached a sales mark of two and a half million copies. Some of the other phenomena analyzed by Gladwell are a bit more unusual, including the decline in crime in New York City that began under Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. But all of them can be taken as examples of how unpredictable people can be when they find themselves in the throes of doing what everyone else is doing at the same time. Great read! Highly recommend it!


Review posted February 26, 2018


Really good book and I love that it comes in CD format. three Rules of the tipping point: the law of the few, the stickyness factor, the power of context. I recommend.


Review posted February 16, 2018


This will become one of the classics in business administration, I’m sure. Easy to understand book with practical information on how to go from ho-hum to wowza in any business. Do you want to go viral? This book will help.

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Review posted January 11, 2018


Fantastic and inspiring

Dione Jordan

Review posted January 6, 2018


Loved it!!


Review posted November 5, 2017


Malcolm Gladwell always impresses me with his way of conveying large topics through engaging anecdotes and examples, and well researched facts. Gladwell walked through his explanation of how things "tip" through The Law of the Few, The Stickiness Factor and The Power of Context. I struggled a bit with the chapter on Broken Windows policing as an example of The Power of Context due to more recent research that has demonstrated that this tends to both especially targets people of color and not work over the long term. Overall, though, this is still an engaging and educational read that I would recommend.


Review posted October 23, 2017


Tipping point is a thought provoking book that would be useful for everyone regardless of background. As a teacher, I have already started to use the principals laid out in this book to make my lessons more “sticky”. The audio book format is perfect for listening to on a commute. It is well narrated and easy to understand.

Heather Burden

Review posted September 29, 2017


Malcolm Gladwell gives the reader new ways to consider achievement and a how nature, nurture, life experiences and more affect success.


Review posted September 12, 2017


I have to say first off, that I LOVE having books on CD to listen to as I commute back and forth to class. I love the personality types that the author mentions as far as the go getters and the people who make things happen in various ways. Is very enlightening as far as how many people work things through. A must listen in my opinion!


Review posted August 2, 2017


This book is inspiring to say the least... We've all had our moments when persistence is not enough to keep our eye on the prize (i.e. success). This is a friendly nudge that in order to see success, we must be willing to think and act boldly to cause a tipping point that will shake things up! I recommend The Tipping Point for everyone's personal library!


Review posted July 19, 2017


I loved this book! Great narration and chock full of interesting examples. As soon as I started listening to this book, I applied the ideas I learned, and they worked! I can't wait to share this book.


Review posted July 12, 2017


I so enjoyed listening to Tipping Point during my commute. I had read this book several years ago so hearing Malcolm read his own writing was an even richer experience. I wholeheartedly recommend Tipping Point.


Review posted July 2, 2017


“Tipping Point” ties in areas of study, theories, and everyday experiences. Gladwell and the reader tie in key concepts of sociology, cultural information transfer or memetic theory, a simple game of telephone, or merely dropping a stone in water and watching the ripples expand. As Gladwell’s other novels/studies, he aims to get his point across, but I feel he can hammer that point into all of his chapters. His ability to expand on a topic is evident. I enjoyed the categorization of personalities in relation to expansion the most - Connector - Maven - Salesman. We have all encountered more than one of each. Now watch as one turns to some and some to most (even this review).


Review posted June 25, 2017


I found Malcolm Gladwell's presentation of what causes things to "tip" very compelling. As a salesperson, I appreciated the three rules of epidemics; The Law of the Few, Stickiness, and Context. The factors Gladwell proposes for New York City's claim to success in the rapid dec Chapter four's example of New York City applying Bernie Goetz's Broken Windows Theory as the reason behind the city's rapid decline of crime in the 90s used arguments that have since been criticized by researchers. One alternate theory was published in the University of Chicago Law Review. ( Of course, Gladwell's book was published before later criticisms of the Broken Windows came to light so, it can be argued that the rapid decline of crime in the 90s, regardless of the reasons, was due to many seemingly small factors. Overall, I enjoyed reading Tipping Point and would recommend to others.


Review posted June 19, 2017


If you enjoyed The Outliers, this is an excellent companion piece. He gives real world examples throughout, as one would expect. Excellent view of sociology. I really really like this author, and his style.


Review posted June 13, 2017


This is another great read! It brings awareness to social trends and how such things can be used to entice an outcome based on utilizing the awareness of what drives/moves people.


Review posted June 11, 2017


In this well-written, engaging book, Gladwell utilizes epidemiology to describe the advent of social change. In this context, he highlights three agents of change: The Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context. The Law of the Few relies on a minority of people precipitating change, including Connectors - those who link people together, Mavens - the problem solvers, and Salesmen - the persuaders who convince others based on an imperceptible quality that makes people want to agree with them. The Stickiness Factor is that which makes a concept memorable. The Power of Context is defined by circumstances within the environment. Though engaging, Gladwell fails to substantiate his theories with scientific evidence. Though he refers to other studies, there is no evidence of attempt at replication. Instead, he extrapolates situation to justify his premise. As much as I enjoyed reading this book, and find his concepts thought-provoking, I am deeply concerned that many of the theories lack empirical standards. Additionally, several of the topics lack objectivity.


Review posted June 1, 2017


This thought-provoking book caused me to evaluate how I view trends in society and the role of people I know. It raised my awareness about theories, and I plan to compare the information in the book to what I observe. I like that it highlights the potential for small actions to make a big impact, as that is an empowering concept.


Review posted May 26, 2017


I've read a couple of the author's more recent books. I love how he zeroes in on unique and seemingly unlikely explanations for everyday phenomena and then totally persuades you that he's solved the puzzle. Even when you're skeptical he's really found the right explanation, the journey of how he gets there is fascinating. The Tipping Point is (I think), his first book. I remember it coming out in the 90s and haven't read it until now. It feels dated in some places but it is a quick read, good for a nerdy summer weekend, and totally worth it.


Review posted May 15, 2017


This book gives great perspective.


Review posted March 18, 2017


This book is an amazing read. I have learned so much about many different things and am now seeing tipping points everywhere.

Richard LaPlante

Review posted March 8, 2017


This book goes over how social trends are started, and how they spread. In a sense, just like a virus can infect people and spread; ideas can also “infect” people and spread through the masses. I have always been interested in why some marketing is effective and other methods are not. I think this book equips you with tools that have the potential to take an idea or product to extreme levels. If you are interest in what brings change on a grand scale this is a great read.


Review posted March 6, 2017


Thoughtful and well written. Makes you really think about the little things in life. It was my tipping point.


Review posted March 4, 2017


The examples were interesting, however they became really redundant as they are used over and over again throughout the book. I enjoyed that it was written like a conversation with the author, it made it really easy to listen to


Review posted February 13, 2017


I was disappointed with this book. Despite the hype about this title, my impression is that this book was concocted to fill in a niche on the market, rather than assist readers with valuable information. The author's logic often lacks substance and the examples he offers to back the logic are often trite. I wasn't impressed and would not recommend.


Review posted December 1, 2016


This book was incredibly helpful for my job doing community development work. It helped me understand how to get people on board with an idea/project and gain the momentum I needed to get things done.


Review posted October 20, 2016


It was very interesting to read this book and immediately be able to apply it to things we see on a daily basis. Through the whole book I was thinking of ways I could apply what I was reading to my job. There was lots of interesting inside and food for thought. The Tipping Point was well delivered to keep interest thru the entire read.


Review posted September 19, 2016


Really interesting thesis and interesting, engaging examples. However, the book is somewhat repetitive and it is better to hear the audiobook in sporadic little bits as opposed to one long story.


Review posted July 15, 2016


Great Book. Makes you think! I enjoyed it much


Review posted June 21, 2016


This book has been highly regarded by co-workers. As an educator finding books that are applicable to many age groups is refreshing. I m excited to read this book over the summer!


Review posted May 26, 2016


It was interesting to see the similarities between his concepts and the things we were taught during the leadership training classes and the conferences that followed the classes. I was particularly interested in his descriptions of connectors, mavens and salesmen and their impact on society.

Brandon Bretl

Review posted May 11, 2016


Relevant examples weave a common thread through this narrative about setting up the moment to make things happen. The Tipping Point puts detail and context to the things you already know activate projects. As an Activator I found specific appreciation for that. As a scholar, I appreciated the research that informs The Tipping Point.


Review posted April 25, 2016


Fascinating look at why trends happen, who connects us and how, what makes something stick, etc. I have read several of Gladwell's books and each of them has left me looking at the world a little differently. His books are not only interesting and well researched but they are also engaging and human.


Review posted April 12, 2016


Great book. Explains public health concepts with real case studies and gives different perspectives on various issues.


Review posted April 11, 2016


I finally understand what all of the fuss about this book is all about. A must read for any community minded citizen.


Review posted April 5, 2016


The tipping point theory includes many topics that are indirectly related to nonprofits. It explains the type of people you need to spread the word about your message, your advocates. It delves into societal patterns of trend, and offers an explanation as to why and how things happen the way that they do. Above all, the book's encouraging message is that a series of small changes or events can come together to actuate a significant change. It evidences hope that small deeds can change the world - very inspiring!


Review posted March 25, 2016


This was a wonderful and inspirational read. It offered a different perspective on how the everyday parts of my life are actually the big parts -- they are what make up our lives, and by paying attention to them, we're able to transform our days and our lives.


Review posted March 7, 2016


Good information to consider when trying to create momentum behind anything - whether business or otherwise. As someone who was born in the mid-80's I especially loved the break down of the Airwalks campaigns. I, like many others, was that bandwagon user of Airwalks despite the fact that the only time I've ever been on a skateboard I immediately fell off. I found the unpacking of the school shooting epidemic both moving and terrifyingly insightful. I have seen Mr. Gladwell's TED talks and was excited to hear him narrate this book but realized how soothing/monotone his voice can be when you see none of his facial reactions. If I wasn't invested in the subject this might be a difficult audio book to listen to without falling asleep.


Review posted February 29, 2016


As always, Malcolm Gladwell is a fabulous author. It writes his chapters in a way that is easy to read, understand and apply to your life and the work setting. This is an excellent book by Gladwell and definitely worth reading.


Review posted February 22, 2016


Very fascinating!!


Review posted February 16, 2016


I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it was a great portrayal of circumstances that can make a community better or worse. It uses real examples of cities like NYC and schools. It's quite fascinating to hear about what could possibly make or break a community.


Review posted January 19, 2016


Very interesting case studies. Good book for discussion in a community group (we choose this for a Rotary group-read). Easy to read, thought-provoking and well-written.


Review posted January 13, 2016


Gladwell's Tipping Point has been on my list of reads for a long time. After finally getting around to it far after many others, I find it to still be relevant. The Tipping Point is truly a book about marketing. Being in a profession where I am often trying to find ways to recruit volunteers and thinking about how to get our message to stick, I found the information in Gladwell's book satisfactory and sufficiently useful. While I never had a moment of epiphany during this quick read, it did reaffirm some ideas that I had heard before. Gladwell has three rules which make an idea spread: The Law of the Few, Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context. The most interesting to be was the Power of Context, but I also felt that this part of the book was the most glossed over. I would have liked to hear more philosophical reasoning for Gladwell's Power on Context, which I felt he only justified through a few of his anecdotal stories. Overall, Gladwell's book is full of anecdotes, which were all generally amusing and I was able to acquire tid-bits of information and insight from each that will stick with me.


Review posted December 16, 2015


This was a fascinating read about how some ideas thrive and others die. It was thought provoking and entertaining.


Review posted December 7, 2015


Fascinating read! Really opens up new ways of thinking about things. Highly recommended.

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Review posted November 9, 2015


Gladwell compiles diverse and interesting examples to show tipping points (both good and bad), such as how little changes in police policy make a positive impact on a community and how marketing strategy changes might make a company go under. His narrative weaves everything together. It's challenging to take-away an applicable lesson, aside from understanding that small tweaks can have a big effect. He also profiles personality types that act as catalysts for change. I'd highly recommend!


Review posted September 23, 2015


This book was a quick read. I was able to finish it in two evenings after work. The author presents an argument for how even little things can trigger big changes. He presents a lot of statistics, but even though there are a lot of numbers, the information is presented in a way that is very readable. I would like the author to have dove deeper into "why" things tip, rather than just that they do.

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Review posted September 22, 2015


This was another great listen for my morning commute! I loved learning about idea generators and had fun pin pointing the Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen in my own community. The case studies used were inspirational. I would recommend this book to anyone interesting in how to create a catalyst of change and get the new ideas to "Stick". I will be listening to this Audiobook again in the future.


Review posted August 16, 2015


The Tipping Point is a book about change- how things change and what factors play into it. Epidemics and trends can be studied and learned from by understanding of the rules that dictate them- the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context. An Idea needs its (right kind of) messengers, presented in an irrestible, memorable manner and has significance to its recipients.How did Paul Revere's midnight ride become successful in getting the message of "the British are coming" across? Why did Sesame Street work so well- and why didn't it work as well as Blue's Clues? Can what caused copycat crimes provide answers to get people to stop smoking? Malcolm Gladwell tackles these questions in an engaging and intelligent manner that doesn't make it seem like one is reading a textbook nor just being fed tidbits of trivia.The new afterword introduces two new ideas (isolation and immunity) that provides an even clearer perspective on things. It'll be interesting to use what I learned in the book in real life- at work and in general.


Review posted June 3, 2015


Thought-provoking, but light on the unintended consequences

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Review posted May 27, 2015


This is a valuable asset to my professional library.


Review posted March 19, 2015


The book, The Tipping Point is an engaging book. I like how little things can make a big difference. I thought the James Earl Jones effect was interesting. In my work with kids, I notice that they feel comfortable with repetition. Repetition makes things familiar and students feel successful at things they already know. I teach a class on character. Every year, I teach the same core lessons and add a little bit to it. The students really like it because they subject matter is familiar and it reinforces what they already know and then adds some new information.

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Review posted March 18, 2015


Easy to read and understand. The concepts and terms were explained and illustrated. I appreciated the relevant examples. The ideas presented made me think about what my organziation does. What are the things we can do to tip our events and programs to reach new audiences. What is it we can do to tip the organization to a new level. Worth sharing with others on staff.


Review posted March 15, 2015


This book discuss social epidemic. What makes word of mouth work. He explains the 3 parts in detail and gives examples of the law of the few,the stickiness factor, and the content. The author breaks down the law of the few into 3 classes of people: the connectors, the mavens, and the salesmen. I enjoyed the stories that brought it all together. Using examples such as how shoes or a children's show become popular. I found this information can be useful.


Review posted February 4, 2015


Although this book can be a little wordy and reiterate points a few too many times to try and make them "sticky", The tipping Point has some really useful information. I didn't expect some of the tipping points to be so easy to target. The part about the tipping point in the NYC clean up/crime reduction was really cool, and made me realize that there's some clean ups we really need to do at my work!


Review posted February 4, 2015


The Tipping Point is very thought provoking. Its insights on what makes ideas, messages, behaviors, etc. tip can be applied in many situations. The real life examples definitely make it a fun read. I read this book a few years back, and I got even more out of it in this second reading. I highly recommend it.