Blink + The Tipping Point

Titles: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Genre: Factual/business/marketing
Readability: Exceptional – he writes very fluently

Most people have by now heard of The Tipping Point, and with good reason. It is an excellent book, full of ideas and interesting facts, and Gladwell writes very well. I ran into the book in Harvard’s wonderful bookstore, The Coop, when visiting my brother in Boston in 2000, only to see it grow into a phenomenon during the next couple of years.

Most of the ideas in the book are not Gladwell’s own, but he summarises and connects existing theories with eminent clarity. Everything related to social networks is in here – six degrees of separation, strength of weak ties, critical mass, etc. Definitely a book that will make you think – and especially relevant for people with an interest in marketing, viral and otherwise.

Gladwell’s second book, Blink, is equally well written, but contains notably fewer ideas. Instead, he explores his main proposition – that snap judgments are often better than careful analysis – from several different angles, and does so convincingly. A good book, certainly a worthwhile read, but not comparable to The Tipping Point. His occasional articles for The New Yorker are also worth a visit.

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