July 21, 2016
Malcolm Gladwell is an interesting author of a few thought-provoking books.
In Blink, which was his best book by far, Gladwell did an exceptional job of buttressing his thesis with some very convincing evidence. David & Goliath was a strong book, but not as strong as Blink. And in Outliers, his work was even a little less convincing in relation to his main proposal. That’s just my take on it. Your mileage may vary.
The Tipping Point , is actually my least favorite of them all. This is because the strong data that made his other books strong was just missing here.
In this particular book Gladwell seeks to argue that at times resounding change in society is driven by three major factors in an epidemic-like fashion: the people involved, the context of the situation and the idea. This particular foundation was not only sensible, but very practical.
Even though one can see his thesis taking place in many of his examples, the constellation of examples he used could have been much stronger. Yes, the reader can see how each example in the book could couple with a his main thesis. The issue is, however, that his thesis would have stood stronger if he provided better examples.
Overall the ‘epidemic’ of change that can take place with the right convergence of elements that the author argues does seem to have a place at least in certain portions of societal change. That in and of itself is quite fascinating because on paper, many times when people expect wide-ranging change to take place, it doesn’t. What the author notes serves to at least explain why some changes did work, and some of those changes didn’t.
However, with that said this particular book is not one of those that an individual ‘has’ to have. If you appreciate his work, and find it quite fascinating, then by all means go ahead. The book wasn’t a complete let down after all. It just could have harpooned his main thesis a lot more precisely.