Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
©2008 Malcom Gladwell; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
This book caused me to re-evaluate my perceptions of success and how it is achieved. It is a great listen for parents of young children since parents can have a major influence on many of the contributing factors of success that are mentioned in this book. Enjoyable on many levels.
Retired educator who now works for the Teachers Association. I drive a lot and I listen to a lot of books.
I've seen Malcom Gladwell speak twice and read both "Tipping Point" and "Blink," which I really enjoyed but "Outliers" is his crowning work. The book is written in an organized way yet displays profound out the box thinking. Many of us like to think of our heros as truely exceptional people but Mr. Gladwell shows us in his book that many times it's taking what's been given to us, practicing, and being in the right place at the right time. I enjoyed the entire book but what most impressed me was his personal tale about himself, his mother, and grandmother and how being an Outlier has more to do with what went before us then what we actually were able to do ourselves. I liked how the book made me think about how even if I wasn't an Outlier that by me providing opportunities as a teacher or a parent that I may help a future Outlier.
This was a pretty interesting book. I don't agree with all of the reasoning, but it's an interesting theory.
The one downside to this book is that if you're looking for motivation, it might work the opposite effect.
This book is about how luck and certain circumstances make you more likely to be successful such as your birthdate, ethnicity, and religion.
If you easily see your circumstances as beyond your control, you may read this book and feel disheartened that you're not lucky or have the right circumstances to be successful.
I believe luck is part of it, but drive and ambition are also important too. You DO have the power to alter your circumstances, even if you've not been given special advantages.
I always enjoy Malcolm Gladwell's work whether it be in book form or the short pieces he does for The New Yorker - but I can't help thinking that he's becoming the era's Proof By Anecdote expert. 'Outliers' is interesting but perhaps more formulaic than it ought to be.
I am afraid that at the rate Gladwell is descending into his example = proof funk his next book might be called 'Lincoln and Kennedy - Just Too Many Coincidences to Ignore'.
Semi retired small business person/ college professor/ investor.
This is a well-written book that brings up some important things to think about. Gladwell's conclusion that you need to be lucky as well smart and hardworking to be hugely successful is probably true. To get really far out on the bell curve you need for everything to go right, or wrong, depending on which side of the curve. Still it is dangerous to draw too many conclusions from extreme outliers, at least when dealing with a standard bell curve. If you are interested in what makes rich people rich read "The Millionaire Next Door", it deals with the more applicable part of the curve for most of us. Drawing conclusions from relatively few data points is always risky but Gladwell shows clearly the a small head start can get you far ahead.
This is a very good book in the same way Freaknomics was a very good economics book. It goes beyond the myths of how to become successful. If you have young kids, it is also a very good parenting book, on what you should be aware of to give your kids the best chance to succeed.
The outliers in this book are people who have either succeeded or failed beyond expectation. Besides intelligence, what other factors make people extremely successful? Some of the questions that are posed and answered are:
Why are most professional hockey players born Jan-
Why were 9 of the top wealthiest men of ALL time (cleopatra to present) born in the 1830's?
Why are many of the key people in computer technology born between 1953 and 1955? W
hy did some immigrant groups do better than others?
Why do asians do better in math?
These are interesting questions and interesting observations are provided. It is not clear if even the author has an overall opinion of if you can control your own destiny. He swings from chapters where when you were born is the largest factor, to other cases where simply working hard and smarts gets you ahead. Perhaps the answer is you need both to become a Bill Gates or a Rockefeller. However, he makes an excellent case of how external factors often set you up for success.
The other concept that is presented is the idea of working hard enough and long enough at something to become expert at something. Those that were wildly successful were experts at the right time in history.
The audio book is not referenced so if you want to read the studies cited for yourself, you will need to get the book.
If you have read Drunkard's Walk and Supercrunchers, this is an interesting and important addition to the factors that govern success.
I really enjoy Gladwell's articles for The New Yorker, and I've read his other two books, but in this one I found the evidence he presents for his "thesis" to be flimsy at best. It's posing as science, but awash in anecdotal evidence. I had a hard time taking it seriously after a while. I would not recommend to a friend except in excerpts.
I read a piece on Malcom Gladwell's book in fortune and decided to listen to it. I got hooked to it right away.
This is my first Malcolm Gladwell book and after listening to this one, I am going to listen to his other works as well.
I took a star off because I don't agree with Malcom Gladwell 100% although I must admit, I kept saying to myself, "hmmm interesting observation...." listening to his arguments.
There were a few success stories I can totally relate to (success story of my grandfather being one. At times Gladwell is able to convince the listener to wonder if he or she has the combination of right ingredients to be successful.
I agree with Gladwell when he argues success has little or nothing to do with having a high IQ or a low IQ. Rather, success is substantially a product of "practical intelligence" or how i like to call it is street smartness.
I loved this book! There is a reason I'm not a terrific ice hockey player (other than I can barely stand up on skates). I was born in the wrong month. Who knew? I was hooked from the first sentence to the last. It is very reassuring to know that people who have changed the world we live in are maybe not that different from any of us, but were instead at the right place at the right time. This book will make us all want to go out and change our educational system, look at what country the pilot of our plane grew up in and marvel that our Scottish ancestors took time out from their violent inclinations to have kids. Malcolm Gladwell has a gift for taking on topics that I have not found that interesting and turning them into mind twisters that delight. If he will now explain our economy we would all be better of for it!
I loved the book. It is great to hear other people's success stories and is really thrilling to listen to it.
Love it. Really made me reevaluate my understanding of success and privilege.
Malcolm Gladwell highlights the complexity of Fairness and opportunity and underlines the importance of hard work and practice.
"Oh my God!"
Malcolm Gladwell digs deep into the many reasons for success to create a very compelling book that really shakes your world view into how things work and how successful people really get where they are.
Fantastic book, and even better that it's read by the author himself who does a great way of properly sending the message he wants to convey through his words.
"An Outlier in Itself"
This book is a joy to absorb, and it challenges stereotypes like no other. Seriously. Read it.
"Great flow and really enjoyable"
The story telling and path Malcolm takes the listener down is really interesting and engaging.
"Fantastic explanation ot ingredients for success"
Great content and very well narrated. A clear insight into success and analysis of the recipe and ingredients for success. Showing how personal success is not an egocentered thing and how many different variables are involved. It's a complicated recipe and Malcolm Gladwell manages to illustrate so many aspects influencing it. Highly recommended!
"Highly interesting book with fascinating stories"
Very insightful approach of the author that gives plenty of well-founded and surprising insights that reveal the contexts of success. Very easy to listen to due to the many gripping stories.
Malcolm Gladwell gives you tremendous insights into how great success is engineered in our society.
What I had hoped and much more. Really enjoyed this book about to listen again.
"great food for thought and very well explained!"
I found this book incredibly interesting and it really does make you you look at success in a totally different light.
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