29+ quotes from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Quotes from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Malcolm Gladwell ·  301 pages

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“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“To be someone's best friend requires a minimum investment of time. More than that, though, it takes emotional energy. Caring about someone deeply is exhausting.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“If you want to bring a fundamental change in people's belief and behavior...you need to create a community around them, where those new beliefs can be practiced and expressed and nurtured.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“That is the paradox of the epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“A study at the University of Utah found that if you ask someone why he is friendly with someone else, he’ll say it is because he and his friend share similar attitudes. But if you actually quiz the two of them on their attitudes, you’ll find out that what they actually share is similar activities. We’re friends with the people we do things with, as much as we are with the people we resemble. We don’t seek out friends, in other words. We associate with the people who occupy the same small, physical spaces that we do.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“Economists often talk about the 80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the “work” will be done by 20 percent of the participants. In most societies, 20 percent of criminals commit 80 percent of crimes. Twenty percent of motorists cause 80 percent of all accidents. Twenty percent of beer drinkers drink 80 percent of all beer. When it comes to epidemics, though, this disproportionality becomes even more extreme: a tiny percentage of people do the majority of the work.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“There is a simple way to package information that, under the right circumstances, can make it irresistible. All you have to do is find it.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“A book, I was taught long ago in English class, is a living and breathing document that grows richer with each new reading.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“A critic looking at these tightly focused, targeted interventions might dismiss them as Band-Aid solutions. But that phrase should not be considered a term of disparagement. The Band-Aid is an inexpensive, convenient, and remarkably versatile solution to an astonishing array of problems. In their history, Band-Aids have probably allowed millions of people to keep working or playing tennis or cooking or walking when they would otherwise have had to stop. The Band-Aid solution is actually the best kind of solution because it involves solving a problem with the minimum amount of effort and time and cost.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“Acquaintances, in sort, represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push—in just the right place—it can be tipped.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“For younger kids, repetition is really valuable. They demand it. When they see a show over and over again, they not only are understanding it better, which is a form of power, but just by predicting what is going to happen, I think they feel a real sense of affirmation and self-worth.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“When people are overwhelmed with information and develop immunity to traditional forms of communication, they turn instead for advice and information to the people in their lives whom they respect, admire, and trust. The cure for immunity is finding Mavens, Connectors, and Salesmen.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“When two people talk, they don’t just fall into physical and aural harmony. They also engage in what is called motor mimicry. If you show people pictures of a smiling face or a frowning face, they’ll smile or frown back, although perhaps only in muscular changes so fleeting that they can only be captured with electronic sensors. If I hit my thumb with a hammer, most people watching will grimace: they’ll mimic my emotional state. This is what is meant, in the technical sense, by empathy. 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.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“Six degrees of separation doesn't mean that everyone is linked to everyone else in just six steps. It means that a very small number of people are linked to everyone else in a few steps, and the rest of us are linked to the world through those special few.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“We have, in short, somehow become convinced that we need to tackle the whole problem, all at once. But the truth is that we don’t. We only need to find the stickiness Tipping Points,”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“Emotion goes inside-out. Emotional contagion, though, suggests that the opposite is also true. If I can make you smile, I can make you happy. If I can make you frown, I can make you sad. Emotion, in this sense, goes outside-in.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“Kids don't watch when they are stimulated and look away when they are bored. They watch when they understand and look away when they are confused. If you are in the business of educational television, this is a critical difference. It means if you want to know whether-and what-kids are learning from a TV show, all you have to do is to notice what they are watching. And if you want to know what kids aren't learning, all you have to do is notice what they aren't watching. Preschoolers are so sophisticated in their viewing behavior that you can determine the stickiness of children's programming by simple observation.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“The Law of the Few says that there are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them. The lesson of stickiness is the same. There is a simple way to package information that, under the right circumstances, can make it irresistible. All you have to do is find it.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“Horchow's daughter, Sally, told me a story of how she once took her father to a new Japanese restaurant where a friend of hers was a chef. Horchow liked the food, and so when he went home he turned on his computer, pulled up the names of acquaintances who lived nearby, and faxed them notes telling them of a wonderful new restaurant he had discovered and that they should try it. This is, in a nutshell, what word of mouth is. It's not me telling you about a new restaurant with great food, and you telling a friend and that friend telling a friend. Word of mouth begins when somewhere along that chain, someone tells a person like Roger Horchow.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“If we want to, say, develop schools in disadvantaged communities that can successfully counteract the poisonous atmosphere of their surrounding neighborhoods, this tells us that we’re probably better off building lots of little schools than one or two big ones.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“The most intriguing candidate for that "something else" is called the Broken Windows theory. Broken Windows was the brainchild of the criminologist James Q. Wilson and George Kelling. Wilson and Kelling argued that crime is the inevitable result of disorder. If a window is broken and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge. Soon, more windows will be broken, and the sense of anarchy will spread from the building to the street on which it faces, sending a signal that anything goes. In a city, relatively minor problems like graffiti, public disorder, and aggressive panhandling, they write, are all the equivalent of broken windows, invitations to more serious crimes:”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“We have trouble estimating dramatic, exponential change. We cannot conceive that a piece of paper folded over 50 times could reach the sun. There are abrupt limits to the number of cognitive categories we can make and the number of people we can truly love and the number of acquaintances we can truly know. We throw up our hands at a problem phrased in an abstract way, but have no difficulty at all solving the same problem rephrased as a social dilemma. All of these things are expressions of the peculiarities of the human mind and heart, a refutation of the notion that the way we function and communicate and process information is straightforward and transparent. It is not. It is messy and opaque.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“We are trained to think that what goes into any transaction or relationship or system must be directly related, in intensity and dimension, to what comes out.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“In the six degrees of separation, not all degrees are equal.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“If you think about the world of a preschooler, they are surrounded by stuff they don't understand-things that are novel. So the driving force for a preschooler is not a search for novelty, like it is with older kids, it's a search for understanding and predictability," says Anderson. "For younger kids, repetition is really valuable. They demand it. When they see a show over and over again, the not only are understanding it better, which is a form of power, but just by predicting what is going to happen, I think they feel a real sense of affirmation and self-worth. And Blue's Clues doubles that feeling, because they also feel like they are participating in something. They feel like they are helping Steve.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


“There is a concept in cognitive psychology called the channel capacity, which refers to the amount of space in our brain for certain kinds of information.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, quote from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference


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About the author

Malcolm Gladwell
Born place: in London, England, The United Kingdom
Born date September 3, 1963
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