Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers

In Malcolm Gladwell’s third book, Outliers he looks at why there are people who are outside the normal population, those who excel, he investigates why these people are so great.

Gladwell again gives examples of successful people, and groups, to explain what he is telling us, and shows us that it is not always genius that makes these people a success, but the history of the family going back generations, the culture of the person, even that date of birth could make the difference between being a high achiever or failure, an outlier or an ordinary person.

Gladwell also explains that to be an outlier we should be in the right place at the right time, and to take advantage of the opportunity.

Having the above factors in-place does not mean success, to become an outlier, a person needs to become involved with the area of expertise of greatness, to DO the action, the work, for 10,000 hoursGladwell cites examples of the Beatles, Bill Gates etc, of how the Beatles played in Hamburg nightclubs for long hours, amassing the required 10,000 hours, how Bill Gates spent hours and hours programming the early computers, again amassing the 10,000 hours before setting-up Microsoft.

Gladwell looks at the birth dates of those who created the leading computer software companies, and surprise, they mostly fall within a narrow year range, and he looks at American lawyers who specialise in takeovers and litigation are mostly Jewish of a certain age.

Gladwell asks, why are top basketball players birthdays mostly in the early months, January, February, March, and why pupils who achieve better exam results have their birthdays closer to the start of the academic year, than those pupils whose birthdays are nearer the end of the academic year. Simple really, the older pupil is nearly a year older and has a more developed brain, take for example a baby of one year old and compare it to a two year old child, there is a big difference in ability, understanding and behaviour.

An amazing book, which gives an insight to what could make people great, an outlier.

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