- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (June 7 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316017930
- ISBN-13: 978-0316017930
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.9 x 21.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: 148 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Outliers: The Story of Success Paperback – Jun 7 2011
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"In the vast world of nonfiction writing, Malcolm Gladwell is as close to a singular talent as exists today...Outliers is a pleasure to read and leaves you mulling over its inventive theories for days afterward."―David Leonhardt, New York Times Book Review^"The explosively entertaining Outliers might be Gladwell's best and most useful work yet...There are both brilliant yarns and life lessons here: Outliers is riveting science, self-help, and entertainment, all in one book."―Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly^"No other book I read this year combines such a distinctive prose style with truly thought-provoking content. Gladwell writes with a high degree of dazzle but at the same time remains as clear and direct as even Strunk or White could hope for."―Atlanta Journal Constitution
About the Author
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of three other books, The Tipping Point, Blink, and What the Dog Saw, all of which are New York Times bestsellers. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996, prior to which he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business and science and also served as the newspaper's New York City bureau chief. Gladwell was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.
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However the book itself is a very easy and quick read.
For other kinds of success, especially financial, its often a matter of being at the right place, at the right time, with the right skills, to catch and ride an emerging trend in the financial world (e.g., railroads in 1850, clothing in 1930, software 1970, hostile take-overs 1980, etc.). Gladwell is clear that the leaders in these areas were all talented, driven people. But that doesn't change the fact that born five years earlier or later, they'd probably be nowhere near as successful as they are today. While he doesn't mention him, I like Darwin as an example. He was brilliant and hard working, but Alfred Wallace came up with (virtually) the same idea of evolution as he did. And Darwin was big enough at that time that Wallace sent him a draft copy to review. If Darwin had come along later, he would have been scooped. If he hadn't been as big as he was in biology then (thanks to non-evolutionary work), he would never have seen the manuscript. As it turned out, he gave Wallace co-credit, but that's another story. The point is that coincidental circumstance played as big a role in who published the theory of evolution by natural selection, and when it was published, as the characteristics of Darwin himself.
For me, the bottom line is that hard work and talent are very important, but so is looking out for those unique trends that might allow you to catch a wave and do something extraordinary with your life. Whether or not that will happen is a function of luck, but it's certainly important to be prepared should you ever get the chance. Overall, the book is very easy to read, and full of really good ideas. I found the last couple of chapters on math to be the weakest, but it's still a great book to read. Highly recommended.
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