Get a free audiobook

The Tipping Point

How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Written by: Malcolm Gladwell
Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (475 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Like the best social dynamics professor you never had, Malcolm Gladwell deconstructs a wide range of phenomena (from the reduction of crime in New York to the rise of Sesame Street) to deliver a fascinating understanding of how "social epidemics" spread. And while author/narrators are often a mixed blessing, Gladwell is so friendly and well-paced that I was actually disappointed when The Tipping Point was over. - Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

Featuring a new afterword.

Why did crime in New York drop in the mid-90s? Why is teenage smoking out of control? Why are television shows like Sesame Street good at teaching kids how to read?

In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

Gladwell uncovers the personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious.

The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message: that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world.

©2007 Malcolm Gladwell (P)2007 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Gladwell, a New Yorker staff writer, offers an incisive and piquant theory of social dynamics that is bound to provoke a paradigm shift in our understanding of mass behavioral change." (Booklist)

"Hip and hopeful, The Tipping Point is like the idea it describes: concise, elegant, but packed with social power. A book for anyone who cares about how society works and how we can make it better." (George Stephanopoulos)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    326
  • 4 Stars
    107
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    320
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    279
  • 4 Stars
    109
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A book by a guy who follows his own advice

This book has a lot of incredible and applicable insights for anyone looking to market a product or bring an idea to life.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • A
  • 2020-02-09

decent but aged

This is a good book, but not great. I think part of that is its age showing a bit. Anyone who is familiar with Gladwell will like the content and his way of examining problems. But as to the age of it, I just finished Talking to Strangers before this and they are worlds apart. In that book he has great original audio clips to show material. In Tipping Point there is one part where Gladwell actually reads out for several minutes a list of names from the phonebook, which for the listener is painful. A good book for those hardcore Gladwell fans, but for the casual listener I would look at his other material.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!

This is the third book I read by Malcolm Gladwell (Blink, Outliers).

One word describes the man .. BRILLIANT!

In this book he describes how fashion, technology, copy cat behavior and epedemics spread - all in the same fashion.

He talks about the influential few who affect the rest of us, about the power of context and about stickiness (yes stickiness).

He talks about how graffiti in a train or a broken window can have huge ramifications in the not so distant future and about how influencers and word of mouth will have an increasingly more powerful role as we move further and further into the information age.

An enjoyable, engaging and thought provoking book. Highly recommend.

His newest book (Talking to Strangers) is already in my library and I plan to read it soon.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G.C
  • 2018-01-31

Mesmerising

Can listen to malcolm Gladwell for hours on end. Thought provoking, it really makes you look differently at everyday situations. Brilliant book, brilliant read

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hugely overrated

First of all, as I am listening to this book in 2020, it is seriously outdated. It cites studies from the 60's and describes events from the 80's. The descriptions of the various studies are tiresome and excessively long. At times, they feel like no more than space filler. The central thesis of the book is not always convincingly exemplified by the stories given and often feels like a bit of a stretch. The first chapter is probably the most meaningful and the rest is mostly a waste of time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read, a little lengthy

I see this being a great book for entrepreneurs introducing a new product. A lot of neat insight, and Gladwell comes up with great analogies to make it more entertaining. My only gripe is that it seems to go on, and on, and on near the end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book was a tipping point for me ...

Great listen. MG does a fantastic job as a reader of his work. Very insightful.
*(Spoiler Alert - the breakdown of Sesame Street is fascinating.)*
This book was another great example of a synchronized message that solidified my thought that Audible is one of the this centuries greatest life hack tools.
I heard once that being able to actually read and understand words from a sentence, in paragraph form, chapter after chapter and book after book was never really an option until a very and current time in human evolution. With the exception of the very few intellectuals, elites and scholars, very few people could learn and get educated by reading. Listening on the other hand dates back to when we gathered around a fire listened and learning from the elders, spiritual intellectuals and elites in the hierarchical establishment.
Love You Audible team, users and fans alike!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking!

enjoy this author, he is a perceptive person with a great sense of humor and compassion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gladwell at his best!

great flow, informative and enjoyable. weaving facts with hypothesis is incredible as always!
thank you!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Explains Wild events in our Culture

Malcolm Gladwell sees things we don't see. He puts it all together to explain the phenomena in out culture why social event take off. Told as always with great stories. I love this book.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dean
  • 2010-10-28

Sociology for the masses.

Another hit by Mr. Gladwell. He take something as dry as sociology and presents the theories in vignettes that are so interesting, yet are factual demonstrating the points he is walking the reader through. I wish more teachers were as stimulating as him. One other point, this book is read by the author which I really appriciate. This gives you more the intent and tone of the original author.

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joel Stanesa
  • 2007-09-21

Great Book, especially for listening

I enjoyed this book so much, I had to listen to it a 2nd time and then some. I especially like the fact that the author reads his own book. I suspect it adds more emphasis in the right areas... Same is true of his other book "Blink" too!

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ANDRÉ
  • 2013-01-15

Fantastic!

Malcolm Gladwell's book are very alike- full of stories behind a theory. This one is about the tipping point, something that can turn the luck of something/ someone around, and he tries to explain how we could achieve it.
Very good book. In my opinion, is 5 stars, the level of Outliers, and better than Blink.
Worth the read!

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marian Hanganu
  • 2008-05-18

Exceptional!

This is one of the greatest books I ever listened! We are programmed to think in a linear growth model and in a cause-effect model. This book shows that we need to abandon these easy models. Great book-you should not miss it!

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 2007-12-28

Marketing has a lot to learn from this book

Valuable insight into why somethings take off and others possibly flop. Not sure if "The Tipping Point" is the answer or one of the contributors to why things happen. My experience is that everything is connected to each other in various degrees, but this book sure puts a good case for the authors theories. A little confusing in parts, but the authors voice is easy to listen to. A valuable book for marketing type people. Worth the listen to.

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Keren
  • 2007-07-06

Excellent

This is one of the best books I have ever read. Some of the examples actually gave me goose bumps and still do when I think of them. I was able to also implement some of the ideas in my business and I have made some great decisions based on Gladwell's suggestions. Most recommended.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 2010-03-13

Makes sense to me.

It really makes you think, but it doesn't hurt your head. Well written, easy to understand, interesting, engaging... and the information is actually useful. I loved it.
Okay, so M. Gladwell says some things that wouldn't make him popular everywhere. Doesn't that make us wonder about his critics' motives? He cites his research, but doesn't bore with citations... he's trying to be interesting enough to be read. Generally, his opinions are clearly delineated from the facts used to create them, so I feel he treats his subjects fairly while trying to advance ideas and concepts. I don't agree with everything the book says, but it does make me think and I believe we could all learn something if we consider its end message.

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gary
  • 2012-06-16

Exciting narrative with great vingettes

The author is an incredibly good story teller. He tells us many great stories from the ride of Paul Revere, the resurgent popularity of Hush Puppies, Sesame Street and to the reduction of violence in New York City. He links them all together with the overriding theme of fundamental change (the tipping point) within society. Each of the vignettes are exciting and will keep you on the edge of your seat and support his main narrative. In addition, he provides a survey of the then current state of the art of the relevant science.

The book was originally published in 2002 and his concept of 'connectors' is only enhanced by what has transpired with Facebook and the further development of the internet. The book is still just as relevant today.

After listening, you will quote some of his stories to your friends and will embrace them within yourself as your own version of reality. Any book which makes you see the world in a different way is a good book and this is a good book.

Usually, I don't like it when an author reads his own book. This one is an exception. I wish that all authors who read their own book would first listen to this book and emulate his style since he does such a good job in the reading.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dane R. King Jr.
  • 2008-08-04

The Tipping Point

The author explains why some things catch on and others don't. I think if you liked the book Freakonomics you will like this. It has the same eclectic almost jumping around feel, but at the same time putting out very interesting information.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Diana - Audible
  • 2012-04-17

My tipping point…for audio

Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point was the first book I ever listened to, well at least completely. I had a hard time grasping all the characters and unfolding plot lines in fiction at first – and had listened to the beginnings of some novels as many as seven times – before I fell in love with being read to in The Tipping Point.

I’m not sure if it was Gladwell’s fascinating concepts, or the feeling as if he was talking right with me, but I remember listening the whole way through, alone at home, one quiet autumn night.

…And the rest is history. I’ve listened to many more books since then – both fiction and nonfiction – but this one will always remain a favorite of mine.

49 people found this helpful