The Tipping Point is a very interesting book about what makes an epidemic an epidemic. The book explains how there are many different types of epidemics such as crime, fashion, education, etc. More importantly, it gives all of the factors that make something so popular. One of the rules of epidemics is the Law of the Few. The Law of the Few states that, to spread information, there are three types of important people: connectors, mavens, and salespeople. Essentially nobody else matters.
Connectors are pretty much just people who know a lot of people. One example that is given in the book is Paul Revere. Back in the day he was quite the cool kid. The fact that he knew a lot of people and a lot of people knew him, gave him credibility in his midnight ride, as opposed to his friend William Dawes who wasn’t nearly as successful because he didn’t know as many people. The second group, mavens, is individuals who collect information. The example that Malcolm Gladwell gives for mavens is a friend of his named Mark Alpert. Mark Alpert seemed to know everything.
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He knew which table to sit at at the restaurant they went to, what hotels to go to to get the best deal, what type of car you should or should not buy. Mavens provide the message for the connectors to spread around. Then the third group, salesmen, persuades people to believe the message. In order to sell a message, salesmen have to be able to answer questions and answer them well. They have to show that they know what they are talking about and that they can be trusted. The better quality answers they give, the more they are able to relate to the buyer. Connectors, mavens, and salespeople are all what make up the law of the few.