The Tipping Point was surprisingly a really really engaging read for me. Much like Don’t Make Me Think, I was pleasantly surprised with how profound and informative The Tipping Point ended up being. As a typical college student, I usually look toward required reading with a dreading feeling, almost already discrediting it as boring or lackluster before I even crack the cover. So, naturally, I started The Tipping Point the same way, and was really hooked right when I opened it.
Gladwell has an entertaining and engaging writing style, and that’s so apparent reading just the first couple words of The Tipping Point. It is really cool to see how The Tipping Point illustrates that exact moment, that exact boiling point from just the very first example.
Hush Puppies. HUSH PUPPIES! I know the stigma I always thought attached to the shoes… they were uncool, only older people wore them. To be absolutely drab or lame, for lack of a better word, to a hot commodity or something that countless people are flocking to the stores to by… that’s incredible. THAT is the tipping point.
As Gladwell mentions, Hush Puppies were then worn by just one group of trendsetters, and that’s all it took. They absolutely took off. That was their tipping point. Personally, I think that is pretty neat. Just one group of people who are watched, or significant, or impactful make the decision to wear a particular article of clothing and then all of a sudden, it snowball effects to so many other people, making Hush Puppies now an established brand, a brand that is significant and well known.
The tipping point is essentially that last straw, the straw that breaks the camel’s back, the time where a little effort goes a long way—makes a huge difference. That is exactly what happened with Hush Puppies, but that’s not the sole illustrated example of the tipping point that Gladwell implements in his novel.
A tipping point, according to Gladwell, is something that is sticky—something that retains well by each new recipient. In addition, he writes that a tipping point must operate in a context that nurtures it and hopes to fully inspire its success.
Gladwell talks about television programs, namely children’s shows like Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues. He discusses that these shows had very powerful messages on how to mix real people with animated characters, the idea of meshing fantasy and reality. As a nineties baby, I can very much attest to the inventiveness of both of these programs, while also taking note of how successful they both were.
I absolutely LOVED both shows, wishing I could be the real people who were featured in the programs. They were both definitely novel ideas, and I liked that Gladwell brought that to my attention, because I would have never thought of it that way.
All in all, I thought the novel was really great. Gladwell made great points, and truly illustrated for the reader what it meant for an idea to hit its tipping point, and even more so, what would make each idea stick!
I would recommend the story to anyone!