Mar 20, 09
Recommended to Claudia by:
Bob and Shirley
all non-fiction fans
Read in March, 2009
"Outliers" those wildly successful people, for whom 'normal rules don't apply.' Are they just lucky, talented? Maybe...but, outliers may not be outliers after all...after reading the entire book, I was slapped by that at the very end. Gladwell looks closely at success, and those who seem to have waltzed into incredible success...Canadian hockey players, who just happened to have been born in the right month of the year; Bill Gates, who just happened to go to a school where the PTA moms bought a new-fangled computer system. Mozart, who didn't hit his stride until ten years after he began composing...the Beatles! Their sound was born of the 10,000 hours of performing in Hamburg -- more than other groups could amass in years of playing.
Success is timing, and hard work...10,000 hours of practice required. It's luck -- having the right family, having the right opportunities -- Gladwell's description: "a combination of ability, opportunity, and utterly arbitrary advantage...beneficiaries or some kind of unusual opportunity."
Gladwell's storytelling is so easy to fall into. We go with him anywhere...to a small town in Italy, to his own Jamaican family, and everywhere in between.
I know Gladwell has an essay in TELLING TRUE STORIES, about narrative journalism, and I enjoyed reading this, more aware of the craft he practices...nonfiction storytelling.
When Bill Gates admits he was very lucky, Gladwell hammers home that point. But to me, the 100,000 hour rule is what I'll take with me. Do you want to be the best? Put in the effort! Talent and opportunity can help, but success is hard work.