Sunday, April 23, 2006

Book Review: Tipping Point

Just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point yesterday afternoon. Gladwell is a regular writer for the New Yorker, but has a background in the sciences and writes a very interesting book based on his take of how ideas work in culture. I heard Gladwell speak at the Catalyst conference last October, and while he wasn't the most dynamic speaker, he did bring some fresh ideas to the table. Gladwell's main premise is that the way ideas tip (or gain critical momentum to become widespread) is through the kinds of people who interact with an idea and the stickiness of the idea itself. As far as church-planting, I actually thought the afterword to the paperback edition had the most to offer. He states that many people have asked him how to find the Mavens, Connectors, and Salesmen for a certain idea (you'll have to read the book to understand the full context of his lingo). He adds in the afterword that many people can become immune to communication whenever that medium becomes saturated. In other words, in the same way that no one likes to get sales calls today (because of the over-saturation of the sales technique), most people become immune to marketing strategies when overused. Today, I see this happening with email, direct mail, and television advertising. Basically, Gladwell returns us to the common sense that his research revealed: ideas tip most effectively by word of mouth. When people are authentically excited about something they have personally experienced, and share that with others, trends begin to tip. Just a good reminder of the primary place of personal life change and testimony in the growth of the church. Overall, very good read. I've got his book Blink on deck, so we'll see if he can go two for two. Gotta run...Barie just finished a roast - sweet!


Brent said...

So...lemme get this straight:

She walks with Christ.
She's smart.
She's pretty.
She's a good mom.


...she cooks ROAST?

Not that your post didn't highlight some unique ideas and pique my interest in reading the book, but I can't get past the reality that the Almighty provided you with one heck of a blessing.

Keith Ferguson said...

me either :)