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Outliers: The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,003403330 (3.95)1 / 267
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)
Recently added byTrinityFellowsMU, rcl07, tedolsen, Peehuagrawal, alrajul, private library, Brio95, TimothyJG23
  1. 80
    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 S. 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: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success by Matthew Syed (ANeumann)
  10. 04
    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 P. Vermeren (peter_vandenbrande)

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» See also 267 mentions

English (393)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (402)
Showing 1-5 of 393 (next | show all)
Much like the other Gladwell book I've listened to, _David and Goliath_, this one certainly proves the point that Gladwell can weave together a good story. I don't know that I can take it much further. I didn't find that the book offered any real insights into how to be a success other than the 10,000 hour rule (work at something for 10,000 hours and you have a better chance of being successful). ( )
  CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
"We need to look beyond the individual". This quote reflects on what this book is all about. ( )
  Rodrigo-Ruscheinski | Jan 26, 2023 |
Malcolm Gladwell is a different type of psychology book than I usually read. He has a place introducing ideas in broad strokes, but it’s a lower tier of informative than books written by psychologists who have broad understanding of the research and have done some original study of their own. If you want an extremely accessible introduction to the idea of expertise and the value of practice, this is OK.

If you want a well sourced, more comprehensive understanding of what the research does and doesn’t say, and how to apply the principles supported by the research, read Peak by K Anders Ericsson and Robert Poole. It’s denser, but it discusses some of the flaws of Gladwell’s presentation and is overall held to a more rigorous standard. ( )
  jdm9970 | Jan 26, 2023 |
Gladwell invites the reader to look deep into "outliers' exceptions to a rule, to truly understand how they have come about. He looks at a series of cases, from the well-known to the obscure, to establish patterns and show underlying reasons for the exceptions that achieved success.

The reading is compelling and the cases are always interesting. However, the main theme and the conclusion seem almost incidental to the book, summarily treated, and sometimes I was wondering why I was reading what I was reading... a better follow-through and stronger conclusion, recapping findings and tying them together, is definitely missing.
Overall it does provide an interesting perspective that might lead to a better understanding of edge cases, but it does lack a constructive summary. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Jan 2, 2023 |
Gladwell is the “myth buster” of psychology and sociology. He takes commonly held assumptions and shows, based on his analysis, they are either not true or limited. In this book, he looks at phenomena outside of our normal everyday experience. He posits that if we examine the lives of outliers (such as Bill Gates, Robert Oppenheimer, Bill Joy, and the Beatles), it will provide insight into how to improve our world. He wants to change the way we think about achievement and success. There is an ironic element in this work, as one of his findings is that outliers can be explained by ordinary factors, such as opportunity, hard work, practice, environment, cultural legacy, luck, and being in the right place at the right time in history.

The author explodes the myth of individualism (which he calls the “self-made man”) and “the best and the brightest.” He believes we are squandering talent. He examines such unlikely topics as rice farming, airline accidents, hockey, and musical auditions. He ends the book on a personal note by taking a look at his family history. I am not sure some of these wide-ranging topics completely support his theories, as there are many more variables than those he singles out, but I found it informative and worth my time.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 393 (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.

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gladwell, Malcolmprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gladwell, MalcolmNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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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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Hachette Book Group

4 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316017922, 031602497X, 1600243916, 0316017930

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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