The Story of Success

Book - 2008 | 1st ed
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The best-selling author of Blink identifies the qualities of successful people, posing theories about the cultural, family, and idiosyncratic factors that shape high achievers, in a resource that covers such topics as the secrets of software billionaires, why certain cultures are associated with better academic performance, and why the Beatles earned their fame.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316017930
Branch Call Number: 302 G455O 2008
Characteristics: ix, 309 p. ; 22 cm


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Aug 22, 2018

I approached this book after greatly enjoyed Gladwell's "Revisionists History" podcast. He writes very similarly to the way he speaks. Outliers answers the questions I didn't know I have about social perception and factors of success. Gladwell keeps the book from drying by using a variety of stories which makes my baby-steps into non-fiction a lot more enjoyable.

DBRL_LyndseyR Apr 20, 2018

After watching a Ted Talk by Malcolm Gladwell several years ago, I’ve been wanting to read "Outliers". I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did! Our idea of successful people is so focused on the individual’s natural talents, that we never consider where they come from or how opportunity and luck play a role. Gladwell uses everything from professional hockey players to billionaire's to challenge the way we view success. There is no doubt that I will be referencing this book for years to come.

Jan 16, 2018

This is one of the few books I've read that I remember.
I've told many people about this.

Dec 05, 2017

This was a really great book.

Aug 29, 2017

Loved reading this book. I don't believe in all his hypothesis though. A different line of thinking for sure.

May 27, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyable read and narration... even the second time. He has struck upon a truth universally ignored in our money, fame and celebrity obsessed culture. Intriguing.

May 15, 2017

Outliers is a book to make you question your assumptions about life, and about people who are pre-eminent in their fields. Gladwell, a Canadian, is a writer for The New Yorker, so, of course, his book is both thoughtful and highly readable. He is not so much a researcher, as a thinker who reads the research of others, connects seemingly unrelated ideas, then show the patterns throughout. Some of the ideas covered in this book are so well-know that many of us are already familiar with them, either because of Gladwell's writings or because other journalists used the same sources.

Outliers examines so-called "successful" people, and shows that, while hard work and focus are important elements in their achievements, other factors -- essentially, being in the right place at the right time with the right background -- are immensely important. He illustrates this with numerous examples showing, for instance, that if you speak Chinese, Korean, or Japanese, you'll have a major head start in counting and in doing math in you head over speakers of European languages, and, that the legendary figures of Silicone Valley were all born within about three years, and, as teenagers, had access to computers not dreamed of by others. We learn why, unless your kids are rare exceptions such as Sydney Crosby , you can forget about them becoming NHL players if they wasn't born in the first half of the year. (Do your own research this by looking up hockey players' birthdays on Wikipedia.)

Outliers is a healthy antidote to the many business and self-help books promising that you can will, meditate, pray, or visualize your way to fame and fortune. Gladwell even uses his own history to show us that flukiness is an important factor in defining our reach and limitations, and in determining how well we do in life.

Jan 04, 2017

I have heard several of his essays mentioned in this book elsewhere, and heard his major theses in this book, too. But it was good to finally read it. I enjoyed it. I do think his theories are kind of flawed and cherry-picked. On the other hand, he does bring up good points about being born at the right time, and other circumstances creates the environment for someone to succeed.

Aug 30, 2016

Great book filled with cocktail-party-ready stories and anecdotes about famous figures and why they became so successful. Spoiler: it's a combination of hard work (10,000hrs of deliberate practice, to be precise), social abilities, and luck.

Aug 06, 2016

Outliers: the Story of Success. --- by. --- Malcolm Gladwell.
What is success anyway? Is it a job that pays googles of money? Is it a job that is somehow satisfy? Is it a job the confers on you The ability to express yourself freely? Whatever it is it's almost certainly not the result of the efforts of the individual who achieves it. In fact it is Gladwell's contention that success comes as a result of the junture of any number of fortunate factors. Were you born in December or January? What is your IQ? In what year were you born? What is the nature of your demographic cohort ? All of these factors come into play, many more in fact, explain success or failure. Gladwell writes well, this goes without saying. The points he makes are always backed up anecdotally. The book isn't big but it does Pack a big whallop. There are a lot of people who should read this book: those who make decisions in education; airline executives; those in the legal profession and lots of others .given all the insights this book purveys, it is a book that should be read by many.

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Oct 17, 2018

"... the Beatles didn't recoil in horror when they were told they had to play eight hours a night, seven days a week [for early gigs in Germany]. They jumped at the chance. Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you [successful] ...". (p. 150)

Dec 15, 2011

To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success – the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history – with a society that provides opportunities for all.

Nov 05, 2009

... and no one - not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses - ever makes it alone.


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Aug 16, 2018

hawkinsc thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Oct 17, 2018

"... We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally [into existence] ... But that's the wrong lesson. ... To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success ... with a society that provides opportunities for all. ... The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all." (p. 268, 285)


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