Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
©2008 Malcom Gladwell; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
basically, "you didn't build that" is the message. While I agree with much of what he says, we can't ignore the hard work these people put into being the best. What good would this good fortune and opportunity be if one didn't seize it?
I think if you need a time killer and you like this kind of topic its a 3 star book.
I would be open to trying another book but I'm not impressed with this one
I find that this book really drives home the point of even the great people put a lot of work in and with luck and hard work anyone can be an "Outlier." This book could have been better of as a short memo.
Malcolm Gladwell makes a clear, informative and compelling case, and I definitely enjoyed it and learned from it. However, as valid as his points are, he leaves out a few very important components that should have been addressed (although he refers to it lightly). The most notable is the individual's desire to succeed or even their acceptance of personal responsibility for their role in their success. Very enjoyable, educational and thorough, but with some glaring holes.
I thoroughly enjoyed the connections and insight. However I did feel at moments some observations were "a stretch"
I have had the fortune to meet many businesses in exchange for developing and designing websites. Every website project is an opportunity and educational. The Outliers is the answer to what we all want to ask thecowners of the beautiful estates we drive by. In this story we get thectype of onformation pteviously only available to researchets and in a time whete Googling information is in you can think of this book as breath of fresh air.
Gladwell challenges the status quo i.e. That outliers are outliers only because they are special, and points out the importance of opportunity and culture....
Great. I would have liked some suggestions/projections as to what certain birth dates, for example, could mean for the readers - perhaps an online resource to reference, but, all and all, the book delivers on its promises.
I tended to focus upon personal development (and I still will) but, now I also see that there are certain aspects that can help us achieve things at a faster rate.
Get those 10,000 hours in fast :)
Great narration, easy to understand, fun analogies and stories.
Occasionally a little boring, but, that's what 1.5 speed is for ;-)
The material in this book is interesting because it looks at data and puts a different interpretation on facts: Why crime rates are falling, the success of different cultural groups and why language rules makes some learning easier, etc. I especially enjoy listening to Malcolm Gladwell read his books--this is the third of his I've listened to. I plan to listen to all of them, his insights are noteworthy and his performance makes listening so soothing.
The narrator does a great job pointing out that companies need to be warmer. Yet I feel that many of things the book are bias. Take for example when he says that surveys found that companies perceived as more warm and competent have a higher purchase intent. Well depending on how the survey was done you can bias your participant to believing that warm and competance lead to higher purchase intent even if the participants don't think that. Here are 2 examples: in a survey about satisfaction with cars, the first survey asked about general satisfaction, 2nd part repair frequency. Than in the other group, the order was reversed, repair frequency asked first than satisfaction. The second group reported lower satisfaction because when they realized how often they needed to repair their cars, they weren't as satisfied. Another example was a group of college students were asked to compare several brands of jam like Knotts Berry Farm vs experts. Pretty much the experts and students choices were the same. But when the students were asked in addition to preference, rate the texture, taste...the students got things backwards, the best brand was ranked last and worse first. Why? Because students aren't experts at grading texture and other suddle things. They may think gee the texture on this jam isn't that good so I shouldn't like it that much.
Similarly if you ask first you respondents how warm and competent do you rank this product/company and then later ask about purchase intent...they could think this company doesn't seem that warm so I shouldn't purchase their products. Although if you asked about purchase intent separately, you could get a different answer. Even thing, several studies have shown high purchase intent doesn't necessarily lead to high purchases because a survey is asked in a quiet setting where a person has time to think...when you are shopping and stressed out from daily life, you may get a different picture.
I enjoyed Mr Gladwell's reading thoroughly. His delivery and voice are well suited to reading and I always enjoy hearing an author read their own material.
As for the content, he provides a well-needed dose of appreciation for the myriad factors that contribute to the success of those who we often see as "self-made". I especially enjoyed his candid discussion of culture as it ventured into topics some people would consider taboo (i.e. why do Asian students consistently perform so much better at math?). I certainly hope that those who have the power to reform public schools take some of Mr Gladwell's insights to heart regarding summer breaks, and grade-year age cut-offs.
The books only shortcoming is that Gladwell significantly underplays the individual characteristics of the highly successful people he profiles (i.e. Bill Gates) in order to support his thesis. He talks at length about the "10k Hour Rule" all the while downplaying the tenacity and focus of any individual capable of spending 10k hours on a single activity in order to constantly improve.
This is underlined by his admission (in the post-book audio interview) that his narrative of the Bill Gates story ends when Gates graduates from High School and that he has virtually no interest in the story after that. It strains credulity to believe that very many people, even if presented with the same challenges as Gates, would have spent 10k hours programming in high school and college, or would have entered the computer business with the same vision that men like Gates, and Steve Jobs, and Eric Schmidt possess.
In the end a fair treatment of the topic would have acknowledged the role that both individual characteristics, and circumstances play in understanding success. That being said, I recommend the book for the valuable perspective it adds to our understanding of those individuals who have risen to the top, and how they got there.
"Riveting - enjoyed it much more than the paperback"
Malcolm Gladwell is a terrific writer; he's also an experienced and effective presenter. So when he's reading his own material it's a compelling package and I was totally hooked.
He's dug up some fascinating statistics to back up his overall hypothesis: when someone is exceptional at something it's not just a case of luck or hard work.
IT millionaires all born in the same 3-year period; high performers who all put in more than 10,000 hours of practice; entrepreneurs whose experience of being immigrants influenced who they knew and what they did - and many more fascinating examples.
I'll definitely be listening to this again.
"I never thought about it that way..."
As a teacher I have spent years praising kids for being smart, then, however,they rely on that to wing the exams. now I praise them for the amount of hard work they do to achieve their goals and they do better.
Inspiring book, well read, and it has application outside its covers.
Mark from Enfield
"Just so stories"
Mr Gladwell has a nice voice and is a natural storyteller, but unfortunately he cannot think straight for an extended period (such as a book). He contradicts himself: at one point, to succeed you need the 'right', well connected, parents (high IQ elementary kids) at another point the key to success (for New York lawyers in the 1970s) is to be born on the wrong side of the tracks (jewish immigrant). He has extraordinarily low standards of 'proof': having demonstrated that certain successes (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates etc.) got lucky breaks, he then breezily states, 'Now we have shown that circumstances are actually more important than raw talent'. I find this very irritating. The main thesis seems to be 'you need luck as well as talent'. Duh?? Is that a thesis or a statement of the bloody obvious? The three stars is because, despite all this, Outliers is quite listenable. It is so low powered and well read that you never need to hit the repeat button, which is handy if your hands are muddy (as mine usually are when I'm audioing).
"Interesting, engaging and very informative"
If you've read Freakonomics, then you'll love this. Malcolm Gladwell delves deep into the reasons and circumstances around what makes some people more successful than others. The people and groups he highlights will surprise you - but more so you'll be amazed at what things had to align for them to reach that point of success. Easy to listen to, simply stated but very engaging it was hard to pause while listening on my commute to work.
A fascinating and thought-provoking book, with some excellent insights into human nature, and what goes into making great people great.
The narrator and the quality of the recording were very good.
I am really pleased I read this book. My mindset is changing & my vision has no limits.
Thanks to Sam Adeyemi (I hope to meet one day soon) for recommending this book.
A GOOD READ!
Fascinating book with lovely insights into the development of so-called Outliers. Well read by the author. If the subject matter piques your interest, it is worth the time listening.
"round in circle"
Never seem to get to the real point of the book in any concise way.
Never seem to get to the real point and title of the book in any concise way.
no it would not work.. good documentary thou
seem like self centred philosophy for his life rather than a completely thought through work. Some very interesting sections about how chance plays so much of a role in life, and why some people do better in certain fields, but can't real say that as well rounded Englishman I feel any way enlightened by this book. If I lived in a bubble, may be...
"Gladwells strongest book. Excellent read. 5 stars"
easy to listen to Gladwells style of writing. found it interesting how we are all so influenced by our culture and the chain of events that happen to get us to where we are today.
Truly fascinating book. Will definitely at some point in the future listen to this again
Report Inappropriate Content