The Tipping Point

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Takeaway: Not all people matter equally when you want to spread an idea or sell a product. Some people (Maven, Salesmen, Connectors) are more important because they are so influential. Think about how to make your message sticky. Being easy to remember and act on.

The Rule of Few

  • Critical factor: the nature of the messenger
  • Pareto Principle: 20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes
  • A small minority of people does big change
  • A few influential people, highly sociable, bring change quickly


  • Most of our social circle we know from the same couple of people.
  • They know lots of people
  • It’s an impulse: some people just live connecting and don’t mind the weak ties
  • They occupy a lot of different subcultures and niches
  • Word of mouth happens when the need reach a Connector and they share it
  • Alex is a Connector (that’s how I’ll get my job)


Yiddish: “someone who acquired knowledge”

  • Someone who loves knowing things to help. Someone who recommends the best hotel, gives you the best deals, reads the junk mail and lets you know.
  • Jacob, Ruth are Mavens in a way

Stickiness Factor

  • Factor: The nature of the message
  • Is it “sticky”? Memorable that it can create change
  • This is often narrow, small changes and counterintuitive.
    • For Sesame Street the big difference was to have adults and puppets together.
    • Not the prime time

Power of Context

  • Factor: sensitive to the conditons and circumstances of times and places they occur in
  • Crime is not just a “personality disorder” but depends on context: Seeing an unkempt street, people are more likely to also behave bad
  • Stanford Prison Experiment: It’s the context.
    • Are prisons full of nasty people or is it the nasty environment that turns people nasty?