DonnaM » Blog Archive » I’ve seen a tipping point

I’ve seen a tipping point

I mentioned tipping points in my last post. I’ve just seen my first really obvious tipping point happen.

Now I don’t have Malcolm Gladwell’s book at the moment (if you borrowed it, please let me know), but from memory, one type of tipping point is the point at which a product is all of a sudden everywhere.

This is a strange one, but I’ve just witnessed a plastic bag to purchased bag tipping point. In the last fortnight I’ve noticed that everyone is carrying around lime green bags containing their shopping rather than plastic bags. I’d think a couple of things happened to tip it:

  • the supermarkets have walls of lime green bags, embedding them in our consciousness
  • the bags are inexpensive
  • other people are brave enough to buy them and walk around the shopping centre with them

I’d guess that this last point is the most important one in causing a tip. People need to see that ‘everyone else’ is doing it and have the ability to do it themselves and boom – off it goes…

2 Responses to “I’ve seen a tipping point”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    “People need to see that ‘everyone else’ is doing it and have the ability to do it themselves and boom – off it goes…”

    Either that, or you start to notice it and self-suggest that it wasn’t as prevalent as before you noticed (which, of course, it would not have been to your sub-concious since by defintion you have not been aware of it before).

    Just playing devil’s advocate :-) The power of self-suggesion is quite strong. Try this:

    Tap the table with a finger of your right hand once (bip!).

    Tap the same table in roughly the same place with a finger of your left hand once (bip!).

    Which “bip” was the higher note? Remember which finger produces it. Run a few tests to make sure.

    Now, tell yourself to expect a lower note from the finger that is producing the higher note, then tap the table in exactly the same way as you tapped it before.

    It will deliver a lower note.

    Try that on the other finger. Play self-suggestion on yourself and others – it’s fun!

    Malcolm Gladwell’s book is also fun, but it’s worthless because it sheds no light on WHY the tipping points happen. A nice set of stories though. File along with Snow White and Little House on the Prarie.

  2. Peter Boersma Says:

    How did you get to notice the plastic bags? I know. One word: :-)

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