The Tipping Point | Study Guide

Malcolm Gladwell

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The Tipping Point | Chapter 2 : The Law of the Few: Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen | Summary


Key Takeaways

  • Paul Revere's Massachusetts ride of 1775, where he warned American colonists the British were planning an attack, is a famous "word-of-mouth epidemic."
  • Much information still travels by word of mouth. What makes such information "tip" and start a trend or revolution?
  • Fellow colonist William Dawes delivered the same message Revere did, but few people listened. Revere got an audience because of his unique connections and "social gifts."
  • People like Revere who "tip" social epidemics can be either Connectors, Mavens, or Salesmen.
  • Connectors are people with large, diverse social circles who bring others together. They frequently make, and remember, friends and acquaintances. They appreciate a "weak tie" or casual connection.
  • Since Connectors know people from "different worlds and subcultures and niches" their influence is especially broad. They can advance a fashion trend or product more powerfully than others can. They're "social glue."
  • Mavens are "information specialists" or experts in a single area. They're also people who love to share their knowledge with others. For instance, Market Mavens study the best prices and deals. They're "data banks."
  • Salesmen are persuaders with "powerful and contagious" personalities. They're often able to win others over subconsciously, using body language and "conversational rhythm."
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