I always resist seeing my own personal motivation in my work, but I guess it must be there on some level. And I do feel very much that my life follows the kinds of things I talk about in my books. I've always thought of myself as an insanely lucky person, so perhaps the success of my first two books led me to want to examine this phenomenon on some unconscious level.
I don't go to an office, so I write at home. I like to write in the morning, if possible; that's when my mind is freshest. I might write for a couple of hours, and then I head out to have lunch and read the paper. Then I write for a little bit longer if I can, then probably go to the library or make some phone calls. Every day is a little bit different. I'm not highly routinized, so I spend a lot of time wandering around New York City with my laptop in my bag, wondering where I'm... Read more »
Do you see the consequences of the way we have chosen to think about success? Because we so profoundly personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift others onto the top rung...We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play—and by “we” I mean society—in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.
I write my books to challenge my own feelings and theories. Perhaps most surprising was what I learned about rice farming. It was really interesting to think of how different Asian and Western cultures are as a result of the kinds of agricultural practices that our ancestors used for thousands of years. The life of a Chinese peasant in the Middle Ages was so dramatically different from the life of a European peasant - night and day different.
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.
When I see someone who reads something of mine and draws something out of it that's very different from my perspective, I think that's actually cool. Sometimes it's worrisome when you feel they badly misinterpret it, but it just says that they're thinking, and they're bringing their own interpretation to bear on it. That's part of the wonderful thing about putting words into the world, and if I was worried about that, I couldn't be a writer.