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Have You Read Outliers?

Submitted by on October 7, 2009 – 6:45 pm4 Comments
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Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers

I’m on a reading spree (I love it) and in the past couple of weeks I had the opportunity to read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

This book is one of the greatest pieces of writings I’ve ever read and I’ve read a lot of books in my short lifetime. While in college I read Gladwell’s first book, The Tipping Point, for a Sports Marketing course. A very good book that I recommend as it tries to explain the puzzling changes that mark everyday life. For example, he explains why Sesame Street has a stickiness factor and has been around all these years. You are introduced to a world of mavens, connectors, and salesmen that you will only understand by reading the book. But now on to Outliers!

The subtitle of Outliers is A Story of Success, basically meaning that throughout the book, Gladwell explains why certain people are successful. When you think of what makes people successful you immediately point out the hard worker mentality, their intelligence, brains, and all similar qualities. But what about if success was all about being at the right place at the right time? What about the socioeconomic status of that individual’s parents? What about the defining culture of a group of people that affects the way someone uses their resources? Basically Gladwell takes that opinion and digs deeper than what the average person will give for a reply to that question.

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Malcolm Gladwell

Each chapter in the book provides evidence for his argument. I don’t want to give too much away, but what if I told you there was a connection between culture of the pilot and plane crashes? What if I told you that Asian children were good at math because of what their great-great grandparents did for a living? And these aren’t just absurd observations either. They are all backed up by years and years of research. Gladwell touches on Bill Gates and other computer programmers, Robert Oppenheimer, NYC public schools, airplane pilots, Canadian Pro Hockey players, Steve Jobs, and introduces us to the 10,000 hour rule.

I recommend this book to everyone who knows how to read and has an open mind. It is important to realize that our communities, cultures, and the people we align ourselves with have a significant role in the success of one person.  Enjoy the book as it will be an entertaining, mind blowing, and knowledgeable experience.

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