During Downtown Partnership's annual meeting at the Meyerhoff last Wednesday, keynote speaker Malcolm Gladwell began his talk with an apology. If you've read The Tipping Point—a best-seller for the last 10 years—you can guess why.
Here's what he said...
I feel guilty whenever I come to Baltimore. As those of you who read my first book, The Tipping Point, know, that book begins with the story of a syphilis epidemic in Baltimore in the 1990s. [laughter] Every time I see someone reading that book I think, `This is not the kind of publicity any city would want.' I take it from my invitation tonight that I have been forgiven. [applause] I promise you that the next time I write about a syphilis epidemic, I will look for it somewhere else—like Frederick, or Bethesda, or Capitol Hill. [laughter]
The talk that followed was smart, snappy, and inspirational. I recorded it on a digital recorder, and I've listened to it a few times and become even more convinced of Gladwell's genius. His audience sure sounded convinced.