to Start a Revolution
the main ideas in Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point
HappyFeet has made the best effort possible to put these items
in some form of coherent order. This book used alot of marketing/business angles.
I chose to replace those examples, etc. with art, creativity, and revolution.
Use this to make the truth bloom.
THE TIPPING POINT IS:
- That one dramatic
moment in an epidemic when everything can change all at once.
- The moment
of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point, a place where the unexpected
becomes expected, where radical change is more than possibility. It is a certainty.
- Tip b/c of
the extraordinary efforts of a few select carriers. But they also sometimes
tip when something happens to transform the epidemic agent itself.
- Ideas and
products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.
- Are another
example of geometric progression: when a virus spreads through a population,
it doubles and doubles again into infinity.
are a function of the people who transmit infectious agents, the infectious
agent itself, and the environment in which the infectious agent is operating:
(Epidemics) have clear examples of contagious behavior.
both have little changes that make big effects.
takes only the smallest of changes to shatter an epidemic's equilibrium.
happen in a hurry.
- This is the
most important trait, b/c it is the principle that makes sense of the first
two and that permits the greatest insight into why modern change happens the
way it does.
- Epidemics involve
straightforward simple things; a "product" (I put this in quotes
b/c Gladwell writes this book using mostly marketing/business ideas. However,
I see it as a way to spark revolution.) and a message.
- In order to
create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements
is in larger part a function of the messenger. Stickiness is primarily a property
of the message.
OF THE FEW
There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting
epidemics. All you have to do is find them. With an epidemic, a tiny majority
of the people do the work. Once critical factor in epidemics is the nature of
the messenger. Messengers make something spread.
Word of mouth is still the most important form of human communication. Rumors
are the most contagious of all social messages. Connectors
- People with
a special gift for bringing the world together, people specialists
- Know lots of
- Have an extraordinary
knack of making friends and acquaintances, making social connections.
- Have mastered
the "weak tie"; a friendly, yet casual social connection.
- Manage to occupy
many different worlds and subcultures and niches. By having a foot in so many
different worlds, they have the effect of bringing them all together.
represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the
more powerful you are.
- Social glue:
they spread the message
- Once they
figure out how to get that great deal, they want to tell you about it
his own problems, his own emotional needs, by solving other people's problems.
- Have knowledge
and the social skills to start word-of-mouth epidemics.
- A teacher
and a student
- In a social
epidemic, Mavens are data banks. They provide the message.
- Have the
skills to persuade when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing.
things can make as much of a difference as big things.
- Gives nonverbal
clues that are more important than verbal clues.
synchrony": human interaction has a rhythmic physical dimension.
We dance to each other's speech
we're perfectly in harmony.
mimicry: we imitate each other's emotions as a way of expressing support
and caring and, even more basically, as a way of communicating with
each other. Emotion is contagious. "Senders" are very good
at expressing emotions and feelings. They are far more emotionally contagious
than the rest of us.
often works in ways that we do not appreciate
- You draw
others into your own rhythms and dictate the terms of the interaction.
There is a simple way to package information that, under the
right circumstances, can make it irresistible/sticky and compels a person into
action. All you have to do is find it. In order to be capable of sparking epidemics,
ideas have to be memorable and move us into action. Content of the message matters
- What is needed
is a subtle but significant change in presentation to make most messages stick.
- The elements
that make an idea sticky turn out to be small and trivial.
has made it harder and harder to get any one message to stick. The information
age has created a stickiness problem.
- Pay careful
attention to the structure and format of your material, and you can dramatically
- Can tip a message
by tinkering, on the margin, with the presentation of their ideas THE POWER
We don't necessarily
appreciate that our inner states are the result of our outer circumstances.
We are more than just sensitive to changes in context. We're exquisitely sensitive
to them. And the kinds of contextual changes that are capable of tipping an
epidemic are very different than we might ordinarily suspect. The impetus to
engage in a certain kind of behavior is not coming from a certain kind of person
but from a feature of the environment.
- Small changes
in context can be just as important in tipping epidemics.
- An environmental
- What really
matters is little things
Windows Theory": in a city, relatively minor problems like graffiti,
public disorder, and aggressive panhandling, are all the equivalent of
broken windows, invitations to more serious crimes (Rudy Gulliani's belief)
- An epidemic
can be reversed/tipped by tinkering with the smallest details of the immediate
- There are specific
situations so powerful that they can overwhelm our inherent predispositions.
- Human beings
invariably make the mistake of overestimating the importance of fundamental
character traits and underestimating the importance of the situation and context.
We are a lot more attuned to personal cues than contextual cues.
- Character is
more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together
and dependent, at certain times, on circumstances and context.
- The convictions
of your heart and the actual contents of your thoughts are less important,
in the end, in guiding your actions then the immediate context of your behavior.
MAGIC NUMBER 150
"There seems to be some limitation built into us either
by learning or by the design of the nervous systems, a limit that keeps our
channel capacities in this general range (i.e. the human minds inability to
comprehend things beyond sets 7)" George Miller "The Magical
"The figure of 150 seems to represent the maximum number of individuals
with whom we can have a genuinely social relationship, the kind of relationship
that goes with knowing who they are and how they relate to us. Putting it another
way, it's the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining
uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar." Robin
- Even relatively
small increases in the size of a group [beyond 150] creates a significant
additional social and intellectual burden.
- The rule of
150 suggests that the size of a group is another one of those subtle contextual
factors that can make a big difference.
- Peer pressure
is much more powerful than a concept of a boss
memory: we store information with other people. Since mental energy is limited,
we concentrate on what we do best.
- Groups of 150
are an organized mechanism that makes it far easier for new ideas and information
moving around the organization to tip; to go from one person or one part of
the group to the entire group all at once.
First Lesson of the Tipping
Starting epidemics requires concentrating resources on a few
key areas. Your resources ought to be solely concentrated on the Connectors,
Mavens, and Salesmen.
Second Lesson of the Tipping Point
The world does not accord with our intuition. Those who are
successful at creating social epidemics do not just do what they think is right.
They deliberately test their intuitions.
What must underlie successful epidemics, in the end, is a bedrock
belief that change is possible, that people can radically transform their behavior
or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus. Tipping Points are a reaffirmation
of the potential for change and the power of intelligent action. Look at the
world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not.
With the slightest push; just in the right place; it can be tipped. NOTES, ETC.
Diffusion model: a detailed, academic way of looking at how a contagious idea
or "product" or innovation moves through a population.
the adventurous ones. Visionaries.
mavens, and salesmen make it possible for innovations to connect with
the early adopters. They are translators: they make ideas and information
from a highly specialized world and translate them into a language the
rest of us can understand. They drop extraneous details and exaggerate
other details so that the message itself acquires a deeper meaning.
- Early adopters:
the slightly larger group that is infected by the innovators. Visionaries.
- Early Majority:
the deliberate and the skeptical mass, who would never try anything until
the most respected of this group try it first.
- Late Majority
- Laggards: the
most traditional group that see no urgent reason to change.