Now this book is a little older than my previous review (first published in 2000). It’s a great read – not just for the insight to certain elements of Personal Networks. If anyone wants to get a better understanding of psychology, how to be a better parent … or maybe even make significant changes in a country with limited resources (sounds like a relevant challenge) – this is the book to read.
Malcolm is a great writer/journalists – and mixes some solid research with anecdotes and interview. It makes for a very enjoyable read. The only section that seemed a little dated was on Sesame Street and Blues Clues (which revolutionised children’s TV in the 1970/80/90s) – but the rest was as relevant today as when written.
One of the best parts of the book was the short conclusion. Often books finish off with an enthusiastic/rushed repetition of the main themes – but Malcolm leaves you with key thoughts/actions.
The two areas that significantly touched on Personal Networking were:-
* Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen. I’ve mentioned the Connectors in a previous blog post. The author explained these three types of characters well – and their role in the Tipping Point. One thing he did not identify is how high a percentage of us have these characteristics. I’ll have to research further on-line – or maybe ask him on his blog – http://www.gladwell.com/
* Dunbar’s Number. He explains the principle of humans naturally having a most efficient group size of 150 people. Robin Dunbar (from Oxford University) has done research in to ancient civilisations – and modern business groups … and 150 keeps on recurring. There’s a great story about the Gore organisation (known for Gore-Tex) who only create buildings with 150 car park spaces, and when people start parking on the grass … they create a new building/division. Malcolm covers Dunbar’s ideas really well – and has set me on course to research this more thoroughly by reading Robin’s latest book – How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks.
Recommended reading – the research is great fun (my wife got bored with me telling her the amazing facts!!). I’m currently on a beach holiday – so will do the MindMap of the book when I get back to base. Anyone else read this book?