The Tipping Point is a must-read for any entrepreneur looking to make their product or service go viral.
It examined how fashion trends originate, how individual acts alter marketplaces, and how a single move might have a greater influence than anticipated. It's about how small things can have a tremendous impact.
Join us for the next ten minutes or so to learn how to build a Tipping Point and go viral with Malcolm Gladwell's ideas.
First, we must admit that The Tipping Point, widely regarded as one of the most influential books of the twenty-first century, is full of extremely specific tales that show the theory behind the action.
It's impossible to refer to each of these cases individually. If you're interested, you should buy and read the book in its entirety - but for now, let's concentrate on the required component pieces that, when combined, form the tipping point.
Lesson 1: The Law of the Few
To begin, consider the Law of the Few.
We don't need a staff of hundreds behind any product or service to go viral, to reach the tipping point when it takes on a life of its own.
Sorry to all marketers, but only a few people can generate a tipping point: that Gladwell refers to as Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen.
We have friends with whom we do things just as much as we have friends who are like us. We form bonds with people who share our small physical space. Consider your workplace: you will have one group of coworkers. Consider your favorite pastime. There's another set of yours over there. This is how it goes.
Each of us is at the crossroads of several groups of friends. Our lives are represented by a Venn diagram.
Connectors work in extremely significant sets. Their sets include people with clout, power, or authority — in other words, people who can impact your product's tipping point.
Connectors are masters at getting close to the people we need to meet. They are separated by fewer than six degrees. Connectors have a large network of contacts.
On the other hand, Connectors are important for reasons other than the number of people they know. Their value is determined by the types of individuals they know. They have a talent for bringing worlds together because they have a foot in so many.
The more a Connector sees your product or service, the more power and potential it gets. Thus, look for Connectors. To connect with their worlds, get them on board with your product or service, and employ a low degree of separation quotient.
When you need guidance, who do you go to? Mr. Miyagi is one of our most trusted and knowledgeable mentors. These people constitute the Tipping Point's second group, whom Gladwell refers to as Mavens. This Yiddish term means "one who acquires knowledge."
Mavens aren't merely well-informed individuals who acquire information for the sake of personal gain. They gather information to share with anybody who might benefit from it. A Maven meets their own wants by assisting others in meeting theirs.
What distinguishes Mavens from other smart individuals is not so much what they know but how they share it. The fact that Mavens desire to help is a powerful method of attracting people's attention. Mavens are:
- The data banks in a social pandemic.
- Providing the message, while Connectors are the social glue.
- Spreading it.
However, there is another important group: the salesmen. Salespeople are the motivators; they persuade people to purchase your product or service.
They are the persuasion influencers who bring the circle full circle.
There are many books on how to be a great salesperson. Still, from the perspective of the Tipping Point, it's all about using the knowledge of Mavens in Connectors' communities to their advantage.
Lesson 2: The Stickiness Factor
Other summaries have discussed the notion of stickiness, such as Chip and Dan Heath's Made to Stick.
But consider stickiness from the standpoint of the tipping point. Messengers are important in social epidemics because they spread the word. Is the message, however, of sufficient quality? Is it saying the right things at the right time and in the right way? Does it stick?
When we examine the factors that contribute to social epidemics, Gladwell claims that the small things frequently make the difference. T
here aren't many deviations from the usual. There aren't many extra features that address the major flaws of competing products or services. Benefits that little yet have a huge impact.
To make our products or services stand out and appeal, we must first comprehend the demands of our target market.
Who can assist you? Connectors, Mavens, and Salespeople.
Mavens must communicate the many benefits our products provide as well as the details of how they function. These facts are their bread and butter, and passing them on is what they live for.
In collaboration with Mavens, Connectors disseminate the message while also giving back the iterative modifications required to satisfy the demands of the specific tasks.
What about salespeople?
They're there to offer potential customers that extra boost of confidence they need to commit to engaging with the product and become early adopters and influencers.
Lesson 3: The Power of Context
Social epidemics are very dependent on the context and circumstances of the time and location in which they occur. Environment and group dynamics are two important contextual elements to consider.
Consider the following scenario. We live in a run-down part of town. Many of the shops are shuttered. Youths congregate on street corners, and there is a pervasive sense of danger in the air.
Is this the best location to foster a healthy sense of community? Most likely not. The situation's setting is bad, which leads to negative behavior.
However, the effect of 'Broken Windows' might actually assist us in recognizing a tipping point.
While adding an extra lock to a door to combat crime epidemics may seem like a simple solution, it does not erase the negative context. What if, on the other hand, we instilled pride in the community?
We can create environmental tipping points. We can clean up graffiti, repair broken windows, and alter the signals that encourage crime to begin in a positive light.
The outcome was positive, and the tipping point has been achieved. Context has an impact.
The second context is based on a group. Once we become a member of a group, we are vulnerable to peer pressure, social norms, and any other type of influence that might contribute to the spread of a social pandemic.
Small, close-knit groups can increase an idea's pandemic influence. Based on Dunbar's Number, Gladwell calls this the rule of 150.
According to British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, part of brain evolution and expansion in size happens as humans need to manage increasingly bigger social groups.
If you work in a group of five, you must manage 10 different relationships. Your own four partnerships with other members, as well as their six matched relationships.
Dunbar concluded that the typical human brain has a neocortex large enough to accommodate no more than 150 connections based on his research. We can no longer successfully deal with one other in the same way.
According to the rule of 150, the size of a group has contextual significance, and that exceeding it might lead to a tipping point with negative consequences.
Group communication becomes more difficult, and sustaining a consistent ethos becomes more difficult. WL Gore, the manufacturers of Gore-tex, is one firm that demonstrates that less than 150 is effective.
Small, dynamic sub-divisions have been the foundation of their success. They limit their plants to 150 vehicle parking places, and when people park on the grass, it's time to divide.
Gore has developed a system that makes it simpler for new ideas and information to spread across the company, from one individual or one area of the group to the next.
The paradox of the tipping point is this. To make a product tip, we need to keep the number of people who know about it to a minimum. Build commitment within this tiny group until the adoption becomes second nature.
Then, with the help of the Mavens and Connectors, the Salesmen can capitalize on the product's or service's exclusivity, making it appealing to a larger audience.
So there you have it: a primer on using your product, service, or business to reach The Tipping Point.