The three rules of epidemics -- The law of the few: connectors, mavens, and salesmen -- The stickiness factor: Sesame Street, Blue's Clues, and the educational virus -- The power of context (part one): Bernie Goetz and the rise and fall of New York City crime -- The power of context (part two): the magic number one hundred and fifty -- Case study: rumors, sneakers, and the power of translation -- Case study: suicide, smoking, and the search for the unsticky cigarette -- Conclusion: focus, test, and believe. New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point. Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail, and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics.