Outliers: The Story of Success

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Outliers: The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell

Little, Brown And Company | August 30, 2012 | Hardcover

Outliers: The Story of Success is rated 3.9667 out of 5 by 30.
There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential.

In The Tipping Point Gladwell changed the way we understand the world. In Blink he changed the way we think about thinking. In OUTLIERS he transforms the way we understand success.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.38 × 5.75 × 1.12 in

Published: August 30, 2012

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316017922

ISBN - 13: 9780316017923

Found in: Business and Finance

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Privilege, Opportunity and Ten Thousand Hours of Practice What makes a success out of a book about success? In the case of a biography like Jack Welch’s Straight from the Gut, the man himself was a success, known worldwide for the excellence of his leadership. In the case of a practical title like David Allen’s Getting Things Done, almost everyone needs the kind of success that comes from greater personal productivity. In the case of Outliers, the success of this book began many generations ago, when under Jamaican law, the son of a white man and a black woman was considered a free man, not a slave. One such man was Malcolm Gladwell’s great-great-great-grandfather, and he seized the opportunities afforded by his freedom to set his family on a path that led to increasing education and good fortune, culminating in a great-great-great-grandson who writes searching, thoughtful articles and books about culture, each one more successful than the last. Outliers looks at a variety of successes, from winning Canadian hockey players, to the founders of the greatest software companies in Silicon Valley, to lawyers who specialize in corporate takeovers, to disadvantaged children who have no books at home but beat the odds to qualify for scholarships. Gladwell doesn’t spend a lot of time on the qualities these successful people share, or how hard they worked. What he does look at is their origins: the geographic, cultural and historical forces that made it possible for these people’s hard work to bear such fruit. Outliers is a fascinating and highly convincing counter-narrative to the bootstrap idea of the self-made man.
Date published: 2012-11-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Factors of Success "Outliers" isn't a book that i would normally pick up and read so it's a good thing it was chosen by my bookclub. I started out dreading reading it, wondering if i even wanted to know about those factors that have to do with success. And so i began reading.... This is how Malcolm Gladwell defines an outlier: "Outlier" is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience. In the summer, in Paris, we expect most days to be somewhere between warm and very hot. But imagine if you had a day in the middle of August where the temperature fell below freezing. That day would be outlier. And while we have a very good understanding of why summer days in Paris are warm or hot, we know a good deal less about why a summer day in Paris might be freezing cold. In this book I'm interested in people who are outliers—in men and women who, for one reason or another, are so accomplished and so extraordinary and so outside of ordinary experience that they are as puzzling to the rest of us as a cold day in August." ....and i kept on reading...until about two-thirds of the way through the book it clicked for me there somewhere inside my head....i understood those factors that make some people so extraordinarily successful. Gladwell does a great job of breaking down and explaining those factors so that i had no choice but to take a good look at my connection to my own culture, to where i come from. Perhaps the most interesting chapter in the book was the one about plane where Gladwell shows the clear connection between culture, authority, and plane crashes.
Date published: 2011-04-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pleasurable read A new way of looking at what factors determine future success. Gladwell is a very good writer who presents a very compelling thesis, which becomes incredibly personal (for him) in the final chapters. If there is a challenge--flaw is too harsh--to his thesis, however, it is that there seems to be little anyone can do to influence these factors. In other words, this concept only works in retrospect. Thus, anyone picking up this book to learn how to be more successful will be sadly disappointed. By the time you read it, it will probably already be too late to change the factors."
Date published: 2011-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Conventional wisdom begone! Once again, Malcolm Gladwell attacks conventional wisdom and common sense. Gladwell once again uses anecdotal evidence as he demonstrates that success is not necessarily attained as we think it is. While not as conclusive as a pure scientific exercise, Outliers does force us to question our preconceived notions about success.
Date published: 2010-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! If you enjoyed The Tipping Point you will enjoy this one. Again, Gladwell gets you thinking.
Date published: 2010-10-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from did not dissapoint I like everything Malcolm Gladwell writes . I have read The Tipping Point and Blink and enjoyed them immensely so when I saw this book with my buddy Bob I grabbed it right away. The book talks about how people become successful and how much effort a person needs to put into something to become great. The whole idea of this book is that , although you also need to put in a lot of work to actually become successful , turned out the magic number is 10,000 hours which is the equivalent of doing something obsessively everyday for 10 years, you also need lucky breaks and people connections. Gladwell used Bill Gates as a study case to show how he managed to get where he is today; with hard work, 10,000 hours worth of it, family connections and luck; he happened to be born in the right year, go to the right school and get involved in the right thing at the right time. Fascinating stuff really. The book also discussed athletes , specifically hockey and soccer players and how their birth month played a big role to them being recruited in the professional leagues. Tons and tons of interesting information. Totally enjoyed it as I expected and I look forward to more work from Gladwell.
Date published: 2010-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! Another excellent book by Malcolm Gladwell. Listened to the audiobook. Really interesting points are presented to the reader.
Date published: 2010-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! Another great book by Canadian Malcolm Gladwell. His account on airplane crashes and why Asian goods excel in math are amazing. From start to finish, the book gets you within its hooks on the issue of why some people become successful and others do not. A fun well researched book.
Date published: 2010-01-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Thin thinking The shallow character of this book is refelected in the notes or lack there of. It could be better documented with respect to sources. It is a very entertaining read that actually demonstrates very little that we didn't already know from better sources.
Date published: 2009-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from That's why I'm not a star hockey player!!! I'm disappointed I wasn't born in January - otherwise, I would be the 1st female Wayne Gretzky!! I enjoyed the book and the statistics --- Malcolm makes the book interesting (although a bit repetitive). I would definitely pick up his other books.
Date published: 2009-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Malcolm rocks... period! After "Blink" (his past book) I never thought he could improve that! Leave aside the fascinating stories about famous people and the correspondant explanations of their success, brilliantly described in this masterpiece (Bill Gates, The Beatles, Hockey players, etc.)... or the wonderful description of why high IQ's mean little more than nothing in predicting anyone's success... or the delicious interpretation of why Asian students stand out in math at school... Mr. Gladwell, IMHO, really becomes one of my top 5 favorite contemporary writters by giving us the formula (yes, a kind of a method!) to become "experts" in any given filed of our choice... the "10,000 hours" element... Want to find out what it means? don't think twice... make yourself a favor (and to your children!) and buy this book. Guaranteed.
Date published: 2009-08-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This will make you think! I like books that make you think rather than follow conventional thought of the day. The strongest point on a positive side, is his numbers are available and correct. Anyone can look them up and see the data is right. This will not be popular with school systems or teachers that believe the student is overworked. North America has lost the hard work ethic once taught by our parents. This book should be read by anyone thinking about having kids. Outliers will have far more impact than his other books. Read this book! and give it to your kids, as I have done.
Date published: 2009-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outliers - Gladwell Hits Another Home Run Malcom Gladwell's newest book, Outliers: The Story of Success, confirms what I've believed all along and that is that great athletes, musicians, artists, teachers, etc., aren't born; they are made. Success, in any undertaking, has more to do with your attitude than with your aptitude. There are even times when you're too smart for your own good. According to Gladwell, success and being successful has more to do with being in the right place, at the right time, and under the right set of circumstances than it does with your gene pool. Success has everthing to do with your ability to hang in there and put in the hard work. Gladwell refers to this "stick-to-it-ness" as the 10,000 hour rule: basically practicing something over and over and over again until your practicing has perfected it. Reading Outliers, you begin to understand why the likes of a Bill Gates or a Bill Joy, or The Beatles for that matter, became successful. You begin to understand that anything is possible, as long as you work and long for it. You begin to realize that if "they" can do it, so can you. However, Gladwell also points out that a little luck on your side doesn't hurt, either. And, in most cases, a little luck was the deciding factor in the success of many of the people he profiles in his book. Gladwell believes that "Outliers" are those who have been given opportunities - and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them. In Gladwell's case, it began with his grandmother, Daisy, whose spirit was passed on to his mother, and through her to him. Being in the right place at the right time can also mean being born in the right year. Aspiring hockey players should take note and read chapter one, "The Matthew Effect". Statistics suggest that you are going to have to work harder and practice longer if you happen to be born in the wrong year. And, according to Gladwell, being born on the right side of the tracks doesn't guarrantee that you will be successful either; although it does apparently help if your parents can afford to send you to a study camp during summer vacations. How much does intelligence play in your success? How smart do you have to be, to be a successful lawyer, doctor, or a successful business person? Can people be too smart for their own good? Gladwell suggests there is "smart", and then there is "too smart". You'll have to read chapters three and four to find out more. I am a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell, partly because he grew up in Ontario, Canada, but mostly because he's a terrific writer. If you haven't read any of his earlier works - The Tipping Point or Blink - you should. You won't be disappointed. Gladwell has an uncanny ability to take a complex subject and write about it in a language that even a layman like myself can understand. I wonder what journey Gladwell is going to take us on next. I can hardly wait to tag along.
Date published: 2009-07-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Interesting! Such an interesting read! Full of neat facts, and covering topics that you would never even find yourself thinking about as areas where luck/opportunity/pure chance affect how successful you become. For instance, who knew that culture played such a big role in which airlines crash more often? I found myself continually telling my boyfriend about my latest learnings, to the point that he was saying "read your book so you can tell me more interesting facts!".
Date published: 2009-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating ideas! It's a parent's and educator's dream come true! Someone who proves that hard work is the key to success. Yes, there is luck, circumstances, timing and culture involved, too, but hard work is always a good thing. Gladwell, has been accused of not doing any original research, but I appreciate someone who goes and collects all the research that's out there (and there is a lot!) and puts it in a tidy package for me. He also draws connections between things that one wouldn't ordinarily see, and he has an international reach. Plus, he's so easy to read! I'm hoping my kids will read this book before they're much older.
Date published: 2009-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What an interesting twist on the world around us! I abslutely love Malcolm Gladwell's books. He always has the most interesting twist on the world around us. For my full review, click here: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1788156/book_review_outliers_by_malcolm_gladwell.html?cat=2
Date published: 2009-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully told and thought-provoking Outliers sets out to prove that success is not solely based on a person's inherent knowledge, power, or drive, but is (collectively) a factor of these and many other variables which may not be so apparent. These factors include the fortuity of opportunities (including both spatial and temporal), methods of parental upbringing, social-economic status and cultural legacies. Not only are these factors unapparent, they are commonly overlooked in favor of the popular notion that success is solely the outcome of a person's intelligence and determination. Gladwell argues against the notion of the "self-made man" and sets to prove that the "self-made man" does not exist; that only through opportunities, a cummulation of personal interactions, cultural legacies and pure providence can a person truly achieve success. Although Outliers may not be directly built on science, it cannot be disputed that Gladwell's ideas are truly fascinating and provocative. If nothing else it certainly inspires the body, mind, and soul to work hard(er) to achieve the most out of life.
Date published: 2009-05-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great read If you've read Blink and the Tipping Point, you won't want to leave out Malcolm Gladwell's newest contribution, the "Outliers". It's a fantastic read, written in the same manner as Blink with supporting facts and interesting background stories.
Date published: 2009-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intuitive and Interesting I thought this book was really well written. Malcolm investigates reasons behind an individual becoming successful. Through looking at different socio-economic, demographic, geographic and a multitude of other factors he examines what determines one's level of success in life. Whether it is the date/month/year/era we were born in, our family's social standing, our upbringing, family income class, amount of time spent on a given activity, our personalities, opportunities we are presented with and where in the world we come from, Malcolm has his audience re-considering whether or not success is something that is pre-determined or something that is worked at from the time we are young. As with his others, I found this book incredibly insightful, educational and inspiring. I would recommend this book to anyone who believes or is interested in the reasons that the world goes round.
Date published: 2009-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from another winner from Gladwell! You always learn something when reading Malcom Gladweel. Hope he comtinues to write!
Date published: 2009-04-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Outliers "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell focuses in on why people are successful and why people are not successful. According to Malcolm being successful depends on many factors including your birth date, your family, and your place of birth and of course your luck. Malcolm explains the story of success behind the Beatles, Bill Gates, and other accomplished people, and the reason for the success of Asians at mathematics. This book focuses in on the lives of outliers - those people who live extraordinary lives of achievement and it explains how they accomplished it. Ten thousand hours of dedicated work is one of the ways these outliers have achieved success. To be an expert at any field you basically need the magical number of ten thousand to achieve that status. "Outliers" was an interesting read, I enjoyed reading about the Canadian hockey players (go Canada) and how their birth dates have a big influence on how successful they will be at hockey. I also enjoyed the section about airline pilots and their co-workers and how what country your airplane crew comes from can determine whether are not your plane will crash that day. Overall I felt that Malcolm Gladwell had looked hard to find certain examples to put in his book that suited his theory and then he wrote the book around those examples. He says to be successful it does not just depend on smarts, but it depends on many factors including luck, which I agree with, but only smart people who are dedicated to their work seem to get lucky and make it to outlier status. In the end the book did not really astound me with any new news except the hockey birth date thing and the pilot thing. To be an outlier you need to be smart (not super smart), dedicated (ten thousand hours), born at the right time and place, have the right parents with a good standard of living and you need to feel entitled. It is pretty basic stuff, sounds easy, right?
Date published: 2009-03-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Sadly, not as expected I've read both 'Blink' and 'The Tipping Point,' and I'm sad to say that 'Outliers' did not stand up to either of them. Although it was a fairly easy read, as Gladwell tends to have a conversational writing style, his ideas were not groundbreaking and did not provoke as much thought as his other works. It was interesting enough but did not live up to the standards he has set in the past. However, it may give parents and teachers some ideas on how to counteract an infavourable balance of attention and opportunity given to children and students, in order to share the chances that the outliers normally take!
Date published: 2009-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I'm an outlier so I bought this So Sunday night/Monday morning I couldn’t fall asleep. I was completely restless and anxious. Feeling bored, I went to desk and picked up my newly purchased book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I’m familiar with his other works The Tipping Point and Blink but I never got around to reading them. I even have a picture with him from my graduation last year from the University of Waterloo and I never even read any of his books then! Haha I think his afro caught my attention and I thought it merited a photograph. Anyways from page 1 I was hooked. From the beginning of the book Malcolm grabs the reader and submerses them into a plethora of facts and thoroughly thought out observations. This guy obviously knows what he is talking about. He goes to argue that success ranging from Jewish lawyers, hockey players to billionaires such as Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller are all successful based on luck and (mainly) chance occurrences. Factors such as being born in a certain month or certain year give individuals a statistical advantage to their counterparts who were not. Without giving away too much from the book, an example given for birth month being a success advantage is statistically aparent for hockey players. Children who are born early in the year in January, February versus those who are born in December are more likely to get drafted because they have a huge physical advantage. It’s a fascinating read. I just wish he would have focused more on famous case studies and notaries of success such as Oprah, Anthony Robbins (who I heard was a janitor), the Hiltons or the Waltons. The book was very dry towards the end. The richer subject matter (yes pun intended) would have made for a much better book. It's touching though how he defines success through many different lens and finally uses his own family members at the end of the book as a final case study.
Date published: 2009-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life changing!!! This book is absolutely phenomenal! It gave me a new outlook on life and success. I am a teacher, so i pride myself in enlightening young minds and inspiring the leaders of tomorrow. My students are also awed by his ideas and interesting spin on how we look at society and individual success. This book is definitely getting on my list of "Books to Read Before Graduaitng from High School".
Date published: 2009-01-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from WEAK! Book started off OK, but 1/4 of the way through, lost interest because the author went off topic. The book is full of "filler." Looks like the manuscript was rushed in edit and copy edit stages as well. CRAP!
Date published: 2009-01-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from kind of disappointing I think the author had a few thoughts left over from his previous writings that he wanted to get down. It ended up being a hodge podge of various ideas that had little to do with what the title professed.
Date published: 2009-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Gladwell seems to have been able to look at what creates success without the normal filters and biases we all tend to view others success with and drill down to the true causes and affect. It's an exciting read well worth the time and should be required reading for all those involved in the education of our youth.
Date published: 2009-01-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Shallow at best I have purchased and read Gladwell's previous offerings and received this one as present. After almost finishing this book, really the last two chapters were so bad I could not read them. Even skimming through them was difficult. Re-gifting is an option for this book, however I would not give this book to a true friend after reading it. The book was a series of thoughts, not Gladwell's but poorly referenced thoughts from others. Yes, there are interesting thoughts illustrated, however Gladwell, as usual, never goes any further with expanding the initial thought or theory. Gladwell should add his own story in the book as a interesting theory on success - oh sorry that is the last chapter. How many authors could spin three - yes three books out of others research and have best sellers??!? Heck I think Gladwell has a career in magic. Really aren's some of those charts noted in the book also noted on Wikipedia?!! As far as the referencing of section of the book, is it very thin and really poorly completed. Honestly, it looks like a grade nine student's with a C average attempt at referencing. I would have more joy starting my fire with the $30 dollars that was spent on this book - at least the fire would have pleasing to watch and give a warm feeling!
Date published: 2009-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful and engaging Malcolm Gladwell has an exceptional ability to look at ordinary, everyday things and see the social processes and workings behind them. However, what I loved about this book was his ability to present an thorough, academic-style analysis in plain language, and keep substance balanced with style the whole way through. I could barely put this book down. This book should be required reading for most social science courses, as Gladwell's challenge to our understanding of sucess as an individual phenomenon has hugely important policy implications.
Date published: 2008-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great view of the world we live in by Malcolm Gladwell Tipping Point impacted me with the theory of early adopters and mavens... Blink made me think and rethink... allot… and it peaked my interest into body language, intuition and other subjects he explored. After listening to Malcolm read Outliers I am now looking forward to reading the printed version… as expected his ideas are worth hearing at least twice. I find his topics, stories and writing style very enjoyable and I anticipated this book ever since Seth Godin mentioned it on his blog some time ago. .. and I am very pleased with this book! During the last 2 years I have read and researched quite a bit of the personal development scene... and Malcolm’s study of the topic of success is well worth considering. I so enjoyed listening to his reading of the book... I ordered the Tipping Point and Blink audio books... there isn't enough great content like he produces… Outliers is fascinating and contains a message we can all use now. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2008-11-21

– More About This Product –

Outliers: The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.38 × 5.75 × 1.12 in

Published: August 30, 2012

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316017922

ISBN - 13: 9780316017923

About the Book

Gladwell embarks on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest and the most successful. He investigates what makes high-achievers different by looking at their culture, family, generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

From the Publisher

There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential.

In The Tipping Point Gladwell changed the way we understand the world. In Blink he changed the way we think about thinking. In OUTLIERS he transforms the way we understand success.

About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for The New Yorker. He was formerly a business and science reporter at the Washington Post.

Editorial Reviews

"...The explosively entertaining Outliers might be [Gladwell''s] best and most useful work yet...there are both brilliant yarns and life lessons here: Outliers is riveting science, self-help, and entertainment, all in one book.-A."-Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly
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