“Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell is a fascinating story on how the most successful people don’t just have the intelligence or an innate predisposed ability that leads to their success. It is unique opportunities that tip the scale to create the perfect conditions for people to become an “Outlier.”
Gladwell investigates parentage and patronage of some of the “prodigies” and most successful people in history to see how their unique circumstances, their unique moment in time, and their cultural legacies all can lead to these perfect situations that when taken advantage of, result in the greatest stories of “success.” He shows us how when someone is successful we want to know what they do that differentiates them so that we too can succeed in the same way. We think it must be something about their personality or their approach and if we can only emulate that, then we too could be the next tech billionaire.
What Gladwell uncovers about success is a much different story. From birth month to the hours of practice someone invests to the way a parent treats a child and authority around them there is a lot to learn about the world.
Half of the book focuses on the specific conditions such as point in history and geographical location that impacts your rate of success and then switches to cultural legacies meaning the way you grew up, your parents grew up, your grandparents grew up and on and on that defines the way that you will respond to certain situations.
There was so much to dive into and learn from this intriguing research… it’s a great read.