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Learnings

"The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a british journalist, author of some best sellers and a New Yorker writer. In his compelling narrative, he transit through different areas of knowledge and stories to came with arguments to support his ideas - from psychology, science, economy and marketing to food, crimes, health and literature. The result is an interesting storytelling which awakes curiosity and a sense that everything around us is influenced by not only who we deeply are, but the way we interact with other people and society, together with the environment and context in which we operate.

"The Tipping Point" is a book about social epidemics. It has the goal to answer why some behaviors, products and ideas spread through society like a virus and others don't. And, as Gladwell explain to us, these things need to cross the tipping point moment, when little changes can make trends and behaviors boil and spread.

The author divides these little changes in three "Rules of Epidemics" (or "Agents of Changes"): "The Law of the Few", "The Stickiness Factor" and "The Power of the Context". In "The Law of the Few", he highlights three different types of people: the Experts - individuals that act like information specialists, accumulating knowledge and connecting us with new datas -, the Connectors - people who know a large number of people from different social, cultural, professional and economic circles and link us to the world - and the Salesman - charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills which convince us when we are not believing in an idea. From billions of people on the planet, these three types of people are the little part of population you need to focus when you're spreading an idea. "The Stickiness Factor" is the little element in the message which makes and idea memorable and generates a truly impact in our mind, and "The Power of the Context" are the strong influences the our behavior is sensitive by the environment around us.

Malcolm give us a lot of cases from different areas of knowledge showing us where adapting these little elements made a huge difference. From how a old fashion american shoes almost bankrupt called Hush Puppies becomes a fashion trend and start to be in the feet of millions of young people to how New York - a dangerous city in the 80's - suddenly saw its crimes rate decline almost 50% in a few couple of years. Stories about how a educational TV show for kids called "Blue's Clues" conquered children from all over the world by adjusting simple things in its narrative and what we made wrong all these years in the war against cigarette and what we can do to really make impact.

The book awakes the mindset that the world is not what our intuition tells us what it's, and that we are influenced by the all the little things within us and around us. And paying attention in these little elements can make a huge difference to start a social epidemic and make a truly impact in the world.

Danilo SaitoComment