This book makes me think of the proverb "The bread not to the wise, the race not to the swift, and the battle not to the warrior for time and chance over take us all."
Just sheer dumb luck changes everything.
Life is unfair. Yes, different opportunities face all of us. However, and this is what the book seems to ignore, it is up to the individual to recognize and act. So, I don't believe it is the opportunity that make an outlier, it is the recognition of the opportunities, vision, desire, determination and action that produced the likes of Bill Gates. Keep in mind Bill Gates went to middle school with 300 other kids who all had the same access to the computer. So didn't all 300 have the same opportunity?
What an interesting read, overloaded with tons of fabulous connections and hypotheses about how and why the successful seem to go so far so fast.
I don't know what I could say that hasn't already been said by the other reviewers, but at least now I know, at least partially, why I am not already rich and famous!
I appreciate the way Gladwell looks at the world as demonstrated his previous books I have read (The Tipping Point and Blink). Outliers was not a disappointment in helping me tip my head a little, blink a few times, and look at the world differently.
Gladwell presents many successful people--common names and those not so well known--who reached the highest levels in their profession. Not taking anything away of the effort each put in to earn their places in history, Gladwell suggests their success had more do to opportunities outside their control than own only their skills, grit, and determination--those each are contributing factors.
He begins by suggesting that all things being equal, it is date of birth that determines greatness in Canadian hockey players rather than skill. Gladwell demonstrates the same is true for the great wealth builders of the 19th century, the most successful New York City attorneys of the 20th century, and the kings/queens of Silicon Valley.
This is the book that got many talking about the 10,000-hour rule. The rule says that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. Gladwell uses several examples of great success who were able to gain the 10,000 early enough through serendipitous opportunities that they are now legendary masters of their fields. Among his examples are The Beetles. When they were just getting started, through luck they played 8-hours a day, 7 days a week, for upwards of 90 days in Hamburg, Germany to put in their 10,000 hours. This prepared them when America was ready for the British invasion. He suggests that they were no better or worse than any other band from Liverpool but when their preparedness met the opportunities they were ready for their lucky break.
My take-away from Outliers:
-- find my passion and put in my 10,000 hours as quickly as I can
-- God had me born when I was and how I am for a specific reason
-- look for the opportunities afforded to me and capitalize on them
I found this book completely engaging. It helps to understand why some can rise to highest level of success. It has lot more to due with unusual early circumstances than more than just hard work. What month you are born, what year you were born in and early exposure to coaching or technology created many of the giant outliers of today. Takes some randomness of luck out of many of these individuals personal stories, or at least identifies the underlying events that help create the lucky circumstances for these select individuals. All the outliers are great hard working people who maximized their early advantanges to reach to top of their fields. Great insight!
Theories were always backed by a lot of research, which was thoroughly explained, but did not come across as "science" or boring. The narration was done very well, and I could listen to Malcolm all day.
Because Malcolm was narrating his own work, he knew the best places to put inflection and where to pause.
No, but not for the reasons you'd expect. I can't sit that long.
I have recommended this book to many people and this book has been the topic for many great conversations at the dinner table, at dinner parties and in my classrooms as I'm a former adjunct faculty member at a couple different colleges. Well done Mr. Gladwell
I found the data and how it was presented to be extremely motivational.
I've listened to this book three or four times.
I like that Malcolm read his own book you can hear and feel the passion he has for his writing. It was great to listen to at work and during the commute.
This book was unpausable right when you thought you could pause he would bring up something more interesting or another topic that would entice you.
This was required for my college sociology class. I've never heard of Malcolm before and I'm glad I got the opportunity to discover him. I would have never guessed this book was so great I highly recommend it to anyone!