This is a book about how change happens – how ideas spread successfully, and why sometimes they fail.
We are living in a world of strong opinions that feels more divided every day. Why is that? Much of what we know about how ideas spread comes from bestselling books like Blink and Nudge who paint a compelling picture of a world, in which “influencers” are king, “sticky” ideas “go viral,” and good behavior is “nudged” forward. The problem is that the world that Malcolm Gladwell or Richard Thaler describe is a world where information spreads, but beliefs and behaviours stay the same, one of simple contagions, which spread quickly to everyone, but do not have any lasting impact on what we think or how we live.
This mythbusting book shows that change doesn’t spread like a simple virus. Stickiness isn’t everything. Influencers aren’t the key. And Gladwell’s “law of the few” from The Tipping Point is fully debunked. It is full of great case studies such as:
Why Twitter took off, whilst Google has failed to create a social media platform of its own, despite multiple attempts.
How Lord Kitchener recruited 2 million volunteers for the British Army at the start of the 1st World War
And how and why huge social movements like the Arab Spring and Black Lives Matter took off when they did
And, like the best smart thinking – it is written by the most qualified academic in the field: Damon Centola is director of Network Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania (and has previously taught at MIT and Harvard). And this book is based on on 20 years of his groundbreaking research.