Tipping Point

The concept of the tipping point is more important than ever before. Internet companies need it to spread the word about their new ideas. App builders need it to get people download their applications from the Apple store and Android Market. Political campaigns need it to get people thinking more about what they are working on. And REALLY big ideas need it. Not only to catch on but so the world can hear exactly what the founders have in mind.  So what does it take to create a tipping point?

That is the million dollar question that every one us wants to know. What does it take to hit the tipping point and create a world class movement?  How do we convince millions of people to look at what we’re doing. And once they look, how do we compel them to take an interest.

A number of things come to mind. Getting started early. Laying the ground work. Being organized. Dealing with roadblocks. And perhaps most important, passion for what you’re trying to do.

In a blog post I read by Seth Godin, he says, “Good ideas didn’t spread because ‘important’ people endorsed and promoted it. It spread because passionate people did.” And Malcolm Gladwell said the same thing in his book. That you should not obsess about the A list media people. Worry instead about people with passion and people with lots of friends. You need both for ideas to spread.

The idea of the tipping point that at some point along the way, after a lot of hard work and struggle you can finally achieve a critical mass of people involved and the threshold number before it finally takes off.  The point where everybody cares and wants to participate. The point where “ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses” according to Gladwell.

And the interesting thing about viruses, is that people don’t even want them and they still spread; and quickly. The same is true for some ideas in the world today. People don’t always want to hear about things, but sometimes they need to. Sometimes they near to hear about a revolutionary product or service. Sometimes they need to hear the truth about an up and coming political candidate. And they usually need to hear about the importance of education. That Education Matters. Especially in disadvantaged communities.

But other times, they are things that people want to hear about, you just have to figure out how to spread the word. How to leverage the media. How to create buzz at precisely the right time.  And how to convince the right people e.g. the “connectors, mavens and salesmen”.  That’s what we’re thinking about now with our Education campaign.

What are you thinking about as you try to hit your tipping point?

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 Careers

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The Education Matters Project



Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.

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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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