In the Dummies Guide to Change … Rob Paterson synthesizes concepts like “tipping points” and the “law of the few”. In a recent paper from HP, Wu and Huberman indicate that their data confirms the law of the few:
Our theory further predicts that a relatively small number of individuals with high social ranks can have a larger effect on opinion formation than individuals with low rank. By high rank we mean people with a large number of social connections. [Connectors?]
but does not support the concept of a tipping point:
Our findings also cast doubt on the applicability of tipping models to a number of consumer behaviors.
The math in this paper is beyond me, but I am assuming that it is valid.
Below is an image that shows my interpretation of these concepts. I was wondering about the parallels between Rogers and Gladwell, and created this image to organise my thoughts. What I’m thinking is that if you want to create an epidemic, then would you first
- connect the right Mavens with the potential innovators,
- target the early adopters via the Connectors and then
- find the salespeople who will influence the Early Majority?
This gives you a potential 50% of the population, which should get you to the tipping point. As you move along the process, you constantly try to increase stickiness.
Might be too simple, or a good start. Not sure yet.