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Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm…

Outliers: The Story of Success (edition 2008)

by Malcolm Gladwell

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9,880326287 (3.95)1 / 227
Title:Outliers: The Story of Success
Authors:Malcolm Gladwell
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2008), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 309 pages

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Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

  1. 70
    Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (dste)
    dste: Another interesting book that looks at some ideas we think are right and turns them upside down.
  2. 40
    The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Anonymous user)
  3. 30
    The Drunkard's Walk : How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow (infiniteletters)
  4. 10
    The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation by Frans Johansson (edwinbcn)
  5. 10
    Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (peter_vandenbrande)
    peter_vandenbrande: Beide auteurs benadrukken dat je talent moet ontwikkelen om succesvol te worden. Ze ondergraven allebei de mythe dat alleen geniale mensen de top kunnen bereiken. Carol Dweck werkt het hoe en waarom van deze "growth mindset" uit, Malcolm Gladwell nuanceert tegelijk de invloed van deze individuele inspanningen door "toeval" in het verhaal te brengen: hoe omstandigheden en toevallige kansen van invloed zijn op uiteindelijk succes.… (more)
  6. 10
    Status Anxiety by Alain De Botton (peter_vandenbrande)
  7. 10
    The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How. by Daniel Coyle (infiniteletters)
  8. 00
    Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin (infiniteletters)
  9. 00
    Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice by Matthew Syed (ANeumann)
  10. 03
    Young Nietzsche by Carl Pletsch (galacticus)
    galacticus: Both books deal with genius. Gladwell touches on genius as a study in success, what it takes generally; Pletsch as a study of one mans desire to be a genius.
  11. 04
    De HR-ballon tien populaire praktijken doorprikt by Patrick Vermeren (peter_vandenbrande)

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English (318)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (324)
Showing 1-5 of 318 (next | show all)
How fortuitous events contribute to an individual's success. Sometimes it isn't all hard work but being in the right place at the right time. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Malcolm Gladwell asks an interesting question in this book. Namely, what 'makes' an outlier, an exceptional person. His answer is that except for their obvious talent all of them are the 'product' of their age, family and cultural background. Which is naturally true but I had a feeling many times reading the book, that he is explaining the most obvious and self-evident thing for a whole chapter. ( )
  TheCrow2 | May 31, 2016 |
Not only brilliantly structured and entertaining but also mind-opening. The book sheds a new light on success, and perhaps thereby takes away some of its glamour. It also succesfully and clearly explains what opportunity can do for one's success. Hard work and dedication are invaluable, but, as Gladwell put it, no succesful person achieves solely due to his own capabilities.

  bartt95 | Apr 10, 2016 |
Fascinating, but (sigh) so far its all about men. Did you know that men and women will read books about men, but most men won't read books about women? Maybe he could write about the psychology of that next time - only then it would not be published. (Sorry, I digress).

It's fascinating, Watson! For example, I now know why I am not a hockey player (this is a real relief, I had been stressing over that one)! And, I feel better about how bossy I am -- I mean, I don't think we'd crash if I were your co-pilot and the pilot needed to be told that he was about to kill us.

And, I feel so much better about the fact that Americans don't excel in Math compared to Asians. I mean, I just thought we were all a little spoiled and lazy, but NOT SO!! Good pick! ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Gladwell looks at successful individuals -- i.e., "Outliers" -- through the filter of time, culture, and ethnicity. He studies people like Bill Gates and Robert Oppenheimer, the Beatles. He finds that many (if not most) "people of unusual achievement" owe much of their success to where and when they grew up, and to the culture they were raised in. Gladwell argues that great people don't simply arise from nothing (or from their own inherent greatness). High IQ, for instance, doesn't correlate with high achievement. Sociologists who study this kind of thing have found that someone with an IQ of 120 is just as likely to claim a Nobel prize as someone with an IQ of 190.

Of particular interest to me was the section on plane crashes; specifically, the way "mitigated speech" (i.e., the tendency of a subordinate to minimize or downplay the information he relays to a superior) factors into these crashes. This dynamic plays out not only between First and Second Captains but also between pilots and air traffic controllers. Planes have many redundancies built into their various systems, so it takes multiple operator errors in order for things to go so wrong that the plane fails entirely and crashes. Many operator errors can be (or are) attributed to miscommunication between the pilots, between the pilots and air traffic controllers, and most if not many of these miscommunications are caused by the way different cultures handle relationships between classes or ranks of people, the way a subordinate relates to a superior -- especially when pilots of one culture interface with traffic controllers in another culture.

Great stuff. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 318 (next | show all)
“Outliers” has much in common with Gladwell’s earlier work. It is a pleasure to read and leaves you mulling over its inventive theories for days afterward. It also, unfortunately, avoids grappling in a few instances with research that casts doubt on those theories. This is a particular shame, because it would be a delight to watch someone of his intellect and clarity make sense of seemingly conflicting claims.
The world for Gladwell is a text that he reads as closely as he can in seeking to decode and interpret it. He is adept at identifying underlying trends from which he extrapolates to form hypotheses, presenting them as if they were general laws of social behaviour. But his work has little philosophical rigour. He's not an epistemologist; his interest is in what we think, rather than in the how and why of knowledge itself.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Jason Cowley (Nov 23, 2008)
The book, which purports to explain the real reason some people — like Bill Gates and the Beatles — are successful, is peppy, brightly written and provocative in a buzzy sort of way. It is also glib, poorly reasoned and thoroughly unconvincing.
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Roseto Valfortore lies one hundred miles southeast of Rome in the Apennine foothills of the Italian province of Foggia.
out•li•er\-,lī(-ə)r\ noun
1: something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body.
2: a statistical observation that is marked different in value from the others of the sample.
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Pretty good book to discuss some interesting phenomena in real life, and tries to find a reasonable explanation for them. It is good to read a book life this to discuss the success, by uncovering not so well-known facts like for Bill Gates, and some other people in computer science, which I have been learning by self-study for a long time.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316017922, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008: Now that he's gotten us talking about the viral life of ideas and the power of gut reactions, Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, "some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky."

Outliers can be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendents of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots' culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there's more to it than that. Throughout all of these examples--and in more that delve into the social benefits of lighter skin color, and the reasons for school achievement gaps--Gladwell invites conversations about the complex ways privilege manifests in our culture. He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential. --Mari Malcolm

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:07 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.… (more)

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