The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Narrator: Author
Genres: Business & Economics, Marketing & Advertising, Non-Fiction, Psychology
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published In: April 2007
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 8 hours, 30 minutes
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Why did crime in New York drop so suddenly in the mid-90s? How does an unknown novelist end up a bestselling author? Why is teenage smoking out of control, when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning? In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. 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.

In The Tipping Point, Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics. The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story written 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.

Reviews (55)

Thought Provocking

Written by sandyw on April 30th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I would listen to this book again. I found it very enlighten and thought provoking, I find my self bring up in conversation things I learned from listening to this book.


Written by Anonymous on March 14th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Kept my attention and was a great lead in to the book blink. Gave you the mechanics if not the know how...


Written by Anonymous from Woodbine, MD on May 10th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Gladwell's research is fascinating and his style is very engaging. He's an excellent narrator, too. I was disappointed when it ended!

Makes a Good Point

Written by Mark from Atlanta, GA on April 21st, 2011

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Book centers around one (and only one) point....small shifts in behavior, input, energy, focus, etc. can lead to extraordinary changes. This creates huge payoffs in self-improvement, business, relationships, etc. If you need more support for this idea, listen to this book. If you understand this, than recommend you move on.


Written by Anonymous on November 23rd, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I liked this book as it was filled with interesting facts. I am not sure what to do with the information.

In Top 10 Must Read List

Written by Anonymous on February 16th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

One of the best books I've ever read. Full of knowledge, written in a fun and interesting way. Though it's not a business book, has helped me tremendously in business.

unabridged is better

Written by KD on December 1st, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Love the full book, and the abridged version gives you a good summary of the major points. However, there's nothing quite like the full, unabridged version, so I only rated it 4-stars. Otherwise, the theories and evidence pare presented in a gripping fashion and are very convincing, too.


Written by Troy from Oshkosh, WI on October 6th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Interesting for marketing types but I applied some of the concepts to customer service within my team and found there IS a tipping point. Like some other books, not the best on the topic I'm sure but a good addition to a collection of this type of book.


Written by Dean from Stevenson Ranch, CA on July 16th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This is an excellent book; however, I do not know why simplyaudiobooks only carries an abridged version.


Written by Anonymous on March 31st, 2009

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Judging by all of the great reviews and recommendations, I thought that this book was going to be spectacular. I was pretty underwhelmed. The examples that the author uses to get his points across are interesting, but the devices that the author describes as necessary to reach a tipping point seemed rather obvious and elementary. It pretty much reminded me of stuff you would learn from an introductory marketing class. Not a bad book. But not nearly as good as people have been claiming.

Author Details

Author Details

Gladwell, Malcolm

Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for The New Yorker. He was formerly a business and science reporter at the Washington Post.