The Tipping Point + The Say, I Say First ¼ . By: Isabella Copello. S ubsections 1.
By: Isabella Copello
Hush puppies is a shoe brand that was practically dead until 1994 where it met its tipping point. A few kids from the Soho village started wearing them and they came in back in style. The few people that wore them made others want to wear them as well. How those people made the shoe brand memorable with no specific strategy, just by wearing them. And how an unexpected factor (few guys wearing the shoes again) made many more people act in a different way.
Some of the people who posses these skills, in the book are referred to as connectors. If you think about your circle of friends, you realize how because of one friend you met another and so on. Those people who know a lot of people and like to bring people together are called connectors. They have a special ability to make friends and acquaintances. They manage to be part of many different social groups, while most people are busy choosing their friends the connectors like them all. Making them reachable in a few steps, because it´s likely that people you know, know them.
More than the amount of people they know, they are important because of the type of people they know.
. What is important about Mavens is not what they know but how the pass it along. If they were to recommend a restaurant or hotel, you would probably go because of the way they describe it. That is why the Zaggat guide is so powerful. It is created by Mavens, and MalcomGladwell agrees when he writes the “the reviews are the reports of volunteers-of diners who want to share their opinions with others” (68). Those diners are considered Mavens of the gastronomic industry.
Salesman have an ability to synchronize with people while their talking. Before convincing with words they mesmerize the client with their movement and speech. Gladwell agrees when he writes that they “can draw others into their own rhythms and dictate the terms of interaction” (83). Thanks those three types of people, connectors, mavens, and salesman social epidemics affect and get to they rest of us.
Gladwell uses the example of the kids television show Sesame Street. Joan GrantzConney the producer, wanted to create a show that granted the opportunity to less privileged kids to learn some vocabulary. As Gladwell himself writes “her agent of infection was television and the “virus” she wanted to spread was literacy” (page 89).
The problem with this idea is that educational experts view television as “low involvement”. According to Gladwell, “television is like a strain of the common cold that can spread like lighting through a population, but only causes a few sniffles and is gone in a day” (page 90). I agree that learning through T.V is only effective in a small percentage of children, a point that needs emphasizing since so many people believe that T.V shows and movies are great learning resources for kids. That precisely, was one of the problems that Sesame Streets suffered. Since the show was meant to be for kids and adults, the children got distracted and confused in the scenes that had sarcasm or jokes that were impossible for youngsters to understand. Only a few children that have greater abilities than the majority of kids benefited form Sesame Street.
Blue´s Clues was more successful than Sesame Street because it managed to permanently grab kids attention by keeping it simple. While learning language, kids make assumptions between the words they learn and their meaning. At first they only associate apple with red and it takes time for them to understand that apple can also be green. This is called the principle of mutual exclusivity and I agree with it because my experience in watching shoes with my 3 and 4 year old cousins confirm it. They are concentrated in shows like Barney, Blue´s Clues and the Wiggles that were simple, and lost their attention and started to ask questions when I changed the channel to other Disney shows that were also targeted for small kids but were somehow more complex in their story line. So, although Sesame Street had the right intentions, it lacked the simplicity that Blue´s Clues achieved in order to become successful and useful to the majority of their targeted population.
The question is, how did that happen? The answer comes from the power of context. Gladwell himself writes “ epidemics are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the time and places in which they occur. “ (page 139) Hence, during the 1990´s the illegal trade in cocaine declined and those who might ne lured into crimes got jobs. The context of the situation influenced people´s behavior. But, these changes are gradual and what happened in New York was anything but gradual. There was something else that made the criminal era un New York tip. That something else is known as the Broken Windows Theory.
To conclude his explanation, Gladwell shares how the NYPD decided to clean the subway carts in order to decrease crimes.