By Malcolm Gladwell
Little, Brown & Company Publishing
As recommended by my fellow blogger and friend, Brian, I took a few days recently to read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I don't usually read very many non-fiction books, but this was a good use of my time.
The Tipping Point is a commentary on why people do many of the things they do. As in, why do certain social activities (or clothing styles or crimes) become trends. He calls them social epidemics.
Gladwell asserts that the way trends get started is a lot like a medical epidemic. Gladwell uses case after case of ideas that passed from one small group into a larger portion of the population. He argues that just a few people in society are the ones who get the most done. He calls these people Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen. Basically, the Connectors are those who know everybody. The Mavens are those who seem to know everything that is cool and new. And the Salesmen are the persuaders; those who are so charming and likeable that whatever they say, other people believe. These three groups of people are why social epidemics occur, according to Gladwell.
Gladwell has several different ideas about how these three groups of people work and also discusses other factors that affect the production of social epidemics.
This no-nonsense take on how big social changes happen was well-written and a quick read. I was able to take some of Gladwells ideas and see how applying them to my own career as a Realtor would be useful. For anyone interested in theorizing on why things happen, such as why criminals commit crimes, why a certain sneaker becomes THE thing for teens to wear, why pre-schoolers LOVE Blue's Clues, etc., this is a great book to help you in your search.
Although I'm pretty sure there is still no logic anywhere that can explain the whole "pants on the ground" epidemic that's still going on around us.