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Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm…

Outliers: The Story of Success (edition 2011)

by Malcolm Gladwell

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9,467308307 (3.95)1 / 214
Title:Outliers: The Story of Success
Authors:Malcolm Gladwell
Info:Back Bay Books (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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
    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 (301)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (307)
Showing 1-5 of 301 (next | show all)
I really liked the beginning of this book. There were some things in the second half that were intriguing but I found the second half to drag a little and was a bit more dull. I feel that the author is a good writer and made good points about a complex topic like success.

I think that the author is correct about success depending greatly on circumstances and chance. Bill Gates is assuredly not the smartest or hardest working person in the world, but it could be said he is the most successful.

Overall though I felt this book was a little too "pop-sciency". That's not to say it's not true, but I'm just not sure about the power of its conclusions. One small area I felt the book fall short in was a quick mention it gave to the University of Michigan's law schools affirmative action program. I read a book (Mismatch) that went more in depth on that school and affirmative action in general and I think his quick overview did not do justice to the topic.

I do feel that I learned a lot from this book and I think that if someone reads it then they will learn a lot and have a better understanding of success and what it takes to be successful. ( )
  JaredChristopherson | Nov 16, 2015 |
This is Malcolm Gladwell's clearest, most insightful work yet. He demonstrates his genius in new ways as he effectively bounces between relevant, interesting examples that truly leave the reader gasping for more. He is even able to include a personal example which further asserts his mastery of the topic. Perhaps the book's most effective asset, inspiration serves to lift the hearts of readers. With enough time and energy, any one person can become a master at anything, yet assistance from a random source of luck is always helpful. With finishing the book comes a certain drive, a motivation to put in the "10,000 hours" and become a master at something. It is this function as a motivator that puts Outliers among the top books I have ever had the pleasure to read. ( )
  Justantolin | Nov 4, 2015 |
The stories of real people make this nonfiction book shine and kept me turning the pages. Gladwell explains how luck in addition to talent and hard work help some people become very successful while other people equally talented and hard working do not rise to success. His explanation of how being born in January is a huge advantage over being born in December is fascinating, both for sports like soccer and hockey, and in school starting in kindergarten and all the way through the school years. Gladwell includes stories of the Beatles, soccer stars, Bill Gates, the world’s richest people, and the last chapter surprised me because it is the story of his own family, in particular his grandmother and mother who grew up in Jamaica. ( )
  hangen | Oct 17, 2015 |
This was my first introduction to Malcolm Gladwell's works and I was compelled to read it based on the theory behind it. A wonk by hobby myself, I love the idea of finding patterns those who don't bother to look deeply below the surface might miss. This book is all about that kind of thing - patterns that could well be missed but when cobbled together, provide an aha moment about something. In this case the aha moments are there to identify a link between gigantic and known successes -- be they professional Canadian Hockey players or The Beatles, or some Asian countries' students penchant to outperformance others on standardized math tests.

The version I "read" was the unabridged audiobook read by Gladwell himself. I think hearing it in his own voice, in his own inflection was interesting, like being in a lecture hall with him right there, delivering the findings live. Be warned about considering that option, though, because it's the kind of book you want to pick up and refer to again and again. To marvel over certain passages and certain findings and wonder at them and share them with others.

Gladwell makes an astonishing, provocative, and, dare I suggest sacrilegious (in this day and age), assertion -- that a highly successful individual's prowess is not built upon just the hard work and rugged individualism of that one person. Rather, he suggests, it is built upon the circumstances -- be they the societal timing, the culture, the season, the access to resources or, even in one instance, the prejudices -- in which the individual finds him or herself, that deserve the credit.

I'm taking an agnostic view on that assertion, and only suggest you listen or read this with an open mind. If you do, I think you'll find it a highly entertaining and very interesting read with a lot to mull over once you've reached the end.
  MauraSatchell | Oct 9, 2015 |
I really enjoyed this book, but when I looked and saw other books that I gave four stars, this one was not quite there. I found it very interesting though, and it made me think about how much fate has to do with an individual's success or failure. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 301 (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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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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