The Tipping Point

  • by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell
  • 3 hrs and 6 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Why did crime in New York drop so suddenly in the mid-90s? How does an unknown novelist end up a best-selling author? Why is teenage smoking out of control, when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning? In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point. In The Tipping Point, Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail, and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics. The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story written with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message, that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world.


What the Critics Say

"A fascinating book that makes you see the world in a different way." (Fortune)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An interesting listen

I really enjoyed this audio book. I've heard Malcolm Gladwell speak before and had been interested to "read" The Tipping Point for a while. It's a mixture of anectdotes, psychology, economics, marketing, epidemiology and more.

The principle focus of The Tipping Point is how small changes, can bring about large effects. With examples such as marketing of Hush Puppies shoes, the broken windows theory, Airwalk shoes, Paul Reveres midnight ride, word of mouth, mass hysteria and more.

The only disappointing thing about this audio book is that it is abridged. If you like short 3 hour "quick listen"'s, you may not mind, but it felt to me, like a reasonable amount of material was cut out. This was even more apparent at the end during the afterword, when it references several things that did not appear in this audio book.

But overall, it was enjoyable, fairly "light reading", and kept my interest throughout.
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- Z

Got it based upon reviews - was not disappointed.

I too found the work well written and well read and fascinating, though I did wonder whether the part that was abridged-out was just as good. Sure wish they had taught this stuff when I went to college 30 years ago. If you're starting your career or if you are thinking about how to run your business, reach your customers or influence your students, you'd be wise to listen. Little things can and do make all the difference sometimes.

I've been an Audible subscriber since 2000 and my original subscription was packaged with a Rio 500 player. I was so impressed with both in the dark days of 2001 that I bought stock in both companies. Audible to its credit acheived the tipping point. But what of Rio? Five years ago my Rio did most of what an IPOD can do today. It still does. Yet Rio was bankrupted twice over while the IPOD made a fortune for Apple and its investors. The IPOD "tipped", while the Rio tanked. Rio didn't get it, but Apple and Audible did. After listening to "The Tipping Point", I understand.

This book and another Audible selection I would recommend - "Linked: The New Science of Networks" (Barabasi) both give an interesting and perhaps essential slant on how things work in our well connected world. Don't set sail on your career without them.
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- Nxp

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-11-2005
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio