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18 November 2008, by Malcolm Gladwell
In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, how the Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history, how Joseph Flom built Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom into one of the most successful law firms in the world, how cultural differences play a large part in perceived intelligence and rational decision making, and how two people with exceptional intelligence, Christopher Langan and J. Robert Oppenheimer, end up with such vastly different fortunes.
The book’s subtitle presents the main theme of the book: “The Story of Success.” Gladwell largely addresses this in terms of how to attain success and how we perceive it. Other themes include nature versus nurture, the importance of practical intelligence, and success through luck.
Throughout the publication, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.
The book debuted at number one on the bestseller lists for The New York Times and The Globe and Mail, holding the position on the former for eleven consecutive weeks. Generally well received by critics, Outliers was considered more personal than Gladwell's other works, and some reviews commented on how much Outliers felt like an autobiography. Reviewers also appreciated the questions posed by Outliers, finding it important to determine how much individual potential is ignored by society.
“Achievement is talent plus preparation”
“Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”
“Who we are cannot be separated from where we're from.”
“No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.”