291 words on Books
I saw Malcolm Gladwell’s writing being lauded in numerous places and decided to give it a try. His book The Tipping Point draws together a bunch of business and sociological observations along with research references to back them up. From that it tries to explore how ‘trends’ are formed and which small steps are crucial to making them succeed - without doubt this is the holy grail for marketing people everywhere.
But luckily the book isn’t entirely marketing focused, it also tries to address other problems capitalism needs to tackle. Say, the maximum size organisations can have before they start being uncontrollable (150 people), how Sesame street was researched, or why most conventional attempts to keep people from smoking are doomed.
It’s a well written and entertaining book. Yet I am not sure what to make of it. While many of the facts presented therein are interesting, will make good trivia, and seem to be backed up by actual research, I kept thinking that in many places the book focuses too much on storytelling and people associated with those facts. Which at times left me with the impression that it’s more about telling a fun story and possibly even about covering up some of the author’s ‘conclusions’ which usually don’t seem to be backed by data and in some places could be marked more clearly.
P.S. I feel compelled to add that I start having a weakness for cheap American paperbacks. Small books whose covers are littered with promotional quotes; which are very light for their thickness because of the cheap paper they use. Uh, and they’re cheap. You don’t feel compelled to treat them well and are happy to carry them around without worrying.