Sociology: The Six Adopter Types

I’ve finished reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and came away with one picture in my head. That is the type of adopters of any new product or service goes through as it reaches its tipping point and beyond. I’ll share that with you now:

The pattern can be described as follows:

  1. The Maven (expert) is a creative adopter
  2. The Connector (leader) is a creative adopter
  3. The Salesman (logician) is an innovative adopter
  4. The Accountant (physicist) is an innovative adopter
  5. The Secretary (security) is an intelligent adopter
  6. The Receptionist (operator) is an intelligent adopter

The first three adopt because the epidemic is contagious, the second three adopt because the epidemic is sticky. It should be noted that the names I give the adopters is contextually sensitive. Malcolm points out that in one context a person can be a Maven, in another an Secretary and in another a Salesman. This involves the transitive memory roles within groups, the message (datum) and the media (node).

All in all I consider The Tipping Point a thought provoking book worth reading, along with Malcolm’s other book Blink.

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Sociology: A Master Repackager

I have just finished reading the first four chapters of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and I must say it is interesting to see so much of my social psychology education being proven and applied. However, is Malcolm covering new territory? Let’s look at my visual summary of these chapters as a Zachman Framework:

In the first chapter Malcolm presents us with his Three Rules of Epidemics:

  1. The Law of the Few (Person)
  2. The Stickiness Factor (Datum)
  3. The Power of Context (Node)

In chapter two we look at The Law of the Few. Malcolm gives exotic names to his concept person (maven), context person (connector) and logic person (salesman). Nothing new here and I’ve added three of my own. In chapter three Malcolm describes his Stickiness Factor and advocates Blue’s Clues as the finest example of a “sticky” message. Nothing really new here either. In chapter four we are exposed to the astonishing change in the crime rate in New York City and the valiant efforts of David Gunn and William Bratton to clean up the New York Subway system. Malcolm discusses the Broken Window policy and makes a good case that “context” can reduce crime. Nothing really new when I include it in my diagram either.

One thing that did change for me is the positioning of Event and Node. If you have been following the evolution of the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework you can see Node and Event have switched places. This is because it occurred to me that Event, Function and Goal are logical while Node, Datum and Person are physical. The new order has a better fit. Which leads to changing the following:

All the above considered, I can say so far that Malcolm’s book is a good read but in the same way that Blink is the repackaging of Intuition, The Tipping Point is the repackaging of Person, Datum and Node.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links