Review of “The Tipping Point”

I wanted to share with you all a great book I was assigned to read for school this week called “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell. I was excited to see this book on our syllabus because I am a huge fan of his other book “Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking”.  Not only is Mr. Gladwell a best-selling author, but also he has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996 and has won numerous awards and recognitions for his work. Basically, he thinks about things differently and unconventionally but at the same time, makes perfect and total sense to the point where you say to yourself “How has no one else ever written this before”. “The Tipping Point” discusses how small ideas or can have a huge impact on the world thus reaching “epidemic” status. He explores the circumstances under which the ripple effect can be most effective.

There are three rules Gladwell describes as being necessary in order for an epidemic to occur. They are: The law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context.

The law of the few states that in order for a social epidemic to be a success, it must be known and supported by certain people who a certain set of skills that make them a crux of a community.  This law is also synonymous to the 80/20 rule, which states that in any kind of situation, 20% of the people will do 80% of the work. Connectors are people who have large social networks, which transgress over different social and economic backgrounds. Connectors enjoy making introductions and have a knack for attracting people and maintaining relationships. An example of this would be Paul Revere. He was able to rally the Patriots into action against the British quickly due to his large network of friends and colleagues.  Mavens are experts, specialists, and know lots about the marketplace. They also cannot help themselves from assisting others and are constant problem solvers. Finally, there are salesmen: charismatic, outgoing, and powerful negotiators who are able to change people’s minds and convince others to follow them easily. These three kinds of people are key in making an idea a social epidemic.

But not just any idea can go viral. It must contain the stickiness factor. It must be worthy of passing on. Gladwell states that many ideas are tweaked and changed through trial and error before they have that undeniable, yet indefinable stickiness factor.  The climate of the place and time is also a factor in determining viral success. The law of context states that the geographical location as well as mental and physical state of the population is important to consider. For example, a group of teenagers in Manhattan began wearing Hush Puppy shoes as a fashion statement in the early 1990s. Because they were in a high-density population with a fashion culture, this trend was able to go viral. If this group had been in the middle of nowhere in the mid west, the trend probably would not have picked up speed.

Gladwell’s book makes some excellent points about how entrepreneurs should go about their business ventures. All successful ideas become epidemics through the combination of having an excellent and unique product or service and making connections with the right people who will help push your idea to the outside world. One without the other will seldom result in a viral phenomenon. This is important to remember as we enter the professional world and will have to pitch ideas of our to upper level executives. I would recommend “The Tipping Point” to anyone looking to learn more about how to have an impact in the world in the 21st century.


More Blog Love- Hobbies

While stalking my classmate’s blogs today I also found some really entertaining ones that I am particularly interested in. Two of my favorite hobbies are traveling and following television shows. I do a lot more researching and thinking about traveling than actual globe-trotting (poor college girl, remember?) so Lysette Portales‘s blog Are We There Yet?! is perfect for daydreamers like me. I have never been to London but consider myself an Anglophile thanks to Harry Potter and the Royal Family, so I loved reading her post about the London Eye. I am however planning a European backpacking trip for after my graduation. Ashley Stout‘s blog Words of my Wanderlust had a great post all about traveling on a budget. This is will be so helpful in my planning!

I love following television series. Its amazing to me how millions of people can fall in love with characters and plot-lines and become so involved in the lives of people who don’t even exist! Its truly an art-form in my eyes. I especially love comedies so Katerina Sardi‘s blog The TV Devotee is one of my favorites. She posts about some of my favorite shows including The Office, Community and Parks and Recreation.  Very funny stuff!


Recipes From My Classmates

Recently I have been checking out the blogs of some of my University of Florida classmates and am truly impressed with their creativity and range of interests and expertise. Its also fun when you find out you have things in common with people you don’t know or have only met briefly.  Take food for example.


Alexa Padillas blog Healthy and Tasty Gainesville is all about… you guessed it, foods that are good and good for you. Right up my alley! She makes a lot of her recipes from scratch and posts great step by step instructions with photos for those of us who are kitchen challenged (me). I tried out her Classic Turkey Chili on Halloween and it was a hit with everyone!


Auriel Rolle-Polk is a UF foodie as well and her blog Foodies are Us features some awesome seasonal fall recipes. She talks about the importance of Good Eats and has great links to some other healthy food blogs.


For those of us who sometimes like to indulge (hey, everyone deserves a treat especially during the holidays!) Check out the slutty brownies featured on Stephanie Jones’s blog, ______ Days Until the End of the World. She talks about things she is thankful for because according the Mayan calender, the world is ending next month. Let’s all hope that doesn’t happen. But in the event that its true, please make and eat these insane brownies before your life ends.

A Short Bio

Hi all! I thought I would tell you a little bit more about myself and the things I love. I am 21 years old living the college dream in Gainesville, FL. Its a great year to be a Gator with our football team’s 8-1 record! I grew up a Gator so I feel a lot of loyalty to the team and love following college football. I am studying telecommunications and business management and am pursuing a career in corporate communications. I plan to move to Atlanta when I graduate next December, so this summer I hope to intern for a company there to start getting my bearings and making connections.

I am originally from Tampa and am the older of two girls. My little sister Hannah is 17. I have the stereotypical first child personality. “Type A”, responsible, maternal, assertive (try not to be bossy!) logical, and grounded. I love bringing people together, problem solving, setting goals, and watching them come to fruition. I get great satisfaction from working on long-term projects and planning events. I actually plan all internal events for my sorority and truly enjoy my position.

I think it takes that certain “Type A” personality to really get the running bug. Running takes time, discipline, and stamina. Lots of people become bored or give up. It takes training to get to long distances.  Once you are in the physical condition to complete them, it takes discipline to run for an hour or longer. It’s all in your mind at a certain point. But the feeling of completing a goal whether it be time, distance, or you just ran better than you did the day before, is one of the best feelings of satisfaction in the world. I love basking in my sweat and endorphins after a long, hard run!

Some fun things: I love love LOVE the Harry Potter book series. I also enjoy Jane Austen novels, and historical non-fiction. I really appreciate comedy and adore Kristen Wiig and Amy Poehler. I am addicted to caffeine and country music and love the beach and spending time in nature.
Click on over to my resume (Shannon McCarthy) or check out my LinkedIn profile to see more about my experience and what I am interested in professionally!
Sidenote: If you are in Florida right now the weather is BEAUTIFUL! Definitely not too hot for a quick Stadium session to get those endorphins flowing! I love running outside during this time of year 🙂

More about Shannon McCarthy

While I would love for my life’s number one priorities to be experimental baking and volunteer puppy babysitting, right now my focus has been professional and academic. I am finishing up my undergraduate degree and am now starting my second module of graduate school for business management. Recently I have become extremely aware of the importance of networking and creating a strong personal brand. I have had the opportunity to meet with professionals in many different fields. Ultimately I aspire to combine my passion for fitness and health with my communications and marketing skills in a brand management role for an athletics-related company such as Nike, ASICS, lululemon, or something of the sort.

My resume: Shannon McCarthy

LinkedIn: Shannon McCarthy