Sunday, 27 September 2009

Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers - the story of success

Just finished 'Outliers - the story of success' by Malcolm Gladwell.

While writing the book, Gladwell noted that "the biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work."

On page 285, he sums it all up:
“Superstar lawyers and math whizzes and software entrepreneurs appear at first blush to lie outside ordinary experience. But they don't. They are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky - but all critical to making them who they are. The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all.”

His style does meander even if he does use some interesting case studies and even if the conclusions are self-evident . Quite a 'nice' read but a bit disappointing. Maybe it was more auto-biographical and self-referencing than intended - it was his journey he was analysing. Gladwell has created his own brand and followers and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.
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