What an amazing book. I could go on for quite a while about how interesting and inspiring this book is for all of those who look at the world an see themselves as outliers in one way or another. It helps you fully understand the importance you society, your family, your friends, and your opportunities have on the accomplishments in your life. Inspires you to take advantage of any and every opportunity that comes your way.
This is a very nice book to listen to, with many eye-openers that I feel like looking deeper into. Gladwell brushes the surface on many concepts, but connects them in a seemingly logical way.
The basic premises is that extremely successful people are not born that way, but are the result of circumstance also, helped by opportunity. There is no claim that intelligence or hard working does not help (it does), but that no matter how smart you are and how hard you work, you still require the opportunity to shine. This Gladwell shows in many examples from the icehockey league of Canada (good players born in Jan-Mar), to Silicon Valley giants (many born around 1955), to takeover lawyers (Jews born in the 30's).
Main drawback in my opinion is that there are many types of opportunity that can either be helpful or a hindrance. In this way, the book better dispels the nature vs nurture discussion than that it provides a complete answer on ' how to become successful'. The individual examples are really breathtaking at times: what can you do about being a good parent (you either care or you don't), how can you be really good at something (practice well and diligently for 10.000 hours/10 years), hard work doesn't hurt you, the trouble with historic & cultural legacy (plane crashes, aggressiveness, rice paddy culture vs rotational crops). Too much to mention, but easy to read.
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
I was concerned a book like this would end up reading like a textbook...dry and a snoozer. But, Malcolm weaves may stories of the "average" individuals who become the worlds best in a variety of fields...weaving the common thread and showing how we actually prevent more from becoming that same world changing level of skill.
I was stuck in a rut as a croquet player. After reading this book, I began to understand that you don't excel at something unless a) you put in an enormous amount of time and b) you are in the right place at the right time. I followed a) and found myself in b). The result is that my croquet game has improved by light years. This principle applies to anything in life. Reading this book was an epiphany for me. Few books have impacted me in this way.
I really enjoyed this book. Gladwell makes you look at how people succeed in a totally different way. The thought that it takes a person 10 000 hours to become really good at something is somehow depressing and inspiring at the same time. Also, the thought that even if you put in the time to become a master at something that a person only becomes successful under the right circumstances is also a little depressing. But it was definitely a worthwhile read and really gives you something to think about.
always looking for my next 'driveway' book
Long after I read this I've been mulling over the ramifications of what shapes our success (and failures). Probably edges out 'Blink' and just a little more interesting for my line of work than 'What the Dog Saw'. Both of those books still worthy of the highest rating.
I loved listening to this book, was entertained the whole way and amazed by some of the topics covered in it. However, after doing a bit more research found that not everything in it was quite right. Even if there is some errors in it, I still rate Outliers quite highly because it did change the way I look at a lot of things.