Malcolm Gladwell

Author of The Tipping Point and a connoisseur of RonCo products, Malcolm Gladwell talks about his writing habits, the war effort, and the glory of being confused for Tommy Lee.

New Yorker contributor Malcolm Gladwell wrote the book The Tipping Point as well as articles like ‘Are Smart People Overrated?’ and profiles of infomercial king Ron Popeil and Pill founder Jon Rocker.

Date of birth & website: September 3, 1963;

Heroes: Pierre Trudeau, Sebastian Coe.

Do you have any unusual writing habits? Does writing lying down on a couch count?

What is the strangest place you’ve heard ‘the tipping point’ referenced? Probably Donald Rumsfeld using it during the Iraq war. I never thought I’d end up making a contribution to the war effort.

How often are you approached by men and women who, knowing that you’re Malcolm Gladwell, want to have sex immediately? Never. I think you may have me confused with Tommy Lee.

Considering collaborative filtering, who do you turn to for good advice on what book to read next? I read books at random, based on whether they catch my eye while I’m browsing in a bookstore. As a result, I end up reading the WORST books.

What is your favorite RonCo product and why? The Veg-O-Matic, of course, although I am also partial to the original Popeil Brothers Plastic Flour Sifters, with the translucent swirl.

Is Malcolm Gladwell overrated? Vastly.