Malcolm Gladwell Has Found the Key to the Success of Every Millennial

via The Manpower Group
A few years ago, over the sweet aroma of local coffee one afternoon, I was passionately ranting to a friend about how I get so tired of my “nine-to-five.” This was after we’ve been discussing a potential project; it felt like a contrast topic to end the meeting.

I told him: ”I feel that there’s so much potency and fossilized energy in me that I think I’m gonna die if I don’t let it out… I needed to make something happen, make an impact -a ‘dent in the universe,’ as ol’ Steve described it, and I think it's not happening in my job. It kills me! I know I can do it, I’m gonna find a way.

It’s one of those moments when I let out more than I intend to. But, this friend, with his naturally noticeable chill vibe just so calmly replied, "I know exactly what kind of thing that is… your exact sentiments make it genuine. You are indeed a Millenial."

It was my first time hearing the word.

I tried catching up and found out that there's not just a bunch of us - there's actually a whole generation of us! An entire generation! How the hell did I miss it? I didn't know what to feel about it then because there's such a diverse mixture of positive and negative things being associated with the term.

However, the most common "thing" about us involves our contributions to the corporate side of the world. We share the sentiments that I mentioned above - and if you're looking at an entire generation feeling like that from a corporate executive's perspective, it's a disaster bigger than the Japan tsunami.

Now, I'm not going to discuss the norms that caused us to become Millenials. It is what it is, the thing that's common is our deep desire to make a difference... fast and now. We don't want to waste our time doing some "basic job" for it. We can do better than just that -for real. "Work" better need to do some reconciling to us, or else it becomes forgotten like the Walkman.

Here's where our hero enters the spotlight. Help me welcome our pal, Malcolm Gladwell! Now, in his book called The Tipping Point, he said something that may help us out.

"The Tipping Point is the biography of an idea, and the idea is very simple. It is that the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the ebb and flow of crime waves, or, for that matter, the transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth, or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics.

Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do."

He means that any goal, any idea, or any significant change undergoes a timeline that is similar to the behavior of a virus - if only that goal or idea persists until a specific distance, it will eventually "tip" into an epidemic so much bigger than what the human mind can comprehend.

One of his examples is the Hush Puppies shoe company. This company was just average (even worse), yet along the long road of constant persistency, their Tipping Point came one day through a group of kids just deciding to buy shoes from them due to their cheaper price -this caused a trend that made their name a worldwide brand. There are more examples with a similar nature like the American Revolution and the spread of suicide cases; all involving a Tipping Point.

This concept applies conveniently to the Millenial perspective towards work since as mentioned, we Millenials want to cause a big change, we want to cause a dent in the universe, we want to make something that matters happen -we want to cause an epidemic. Gladwell tells us that there's an easy way to do this, and as ridiculous as it may sound, work is the answer.

Hustle till you reach the Tipping Point. Do  persistent, patient, diligent, but most importantly, goal-oriented work. Without a goal, this concept might not get you off the hook, because you can end up working "in circles."

The Tipping Point is indeed a beautifully potent concept, and it makes you wonder how many hours in your "nine-to-five" could it take for you to "tip" something to the next big thing. Well, there's only one way for you to find out... keep on working.


  1. This was great to know. I was looking for some motivation to keep plugging forward. I think I am going to read this book.

  2. This does actually sound kinda promising... Might give it a go, thank you :)