Book Review: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Originally, I had never heard of this book and would probably have never picked it up. But when Philip DeFranco (of the Philip DeFranco Show on Youtube) mentioned he was starting a book club and that Outliers would be the first book, I was intrigued. I had no idea what I was in for, I had no idea what type of book it was, and I didn’t even know that it was a non-fiction book on the outliers of society.

Consider my mind: BLOWN! (For my personal view and feelings about what the book brought up, click here to see my face talking about it)

There are a few basic theories about what formulates individual success, and the background look into the stereotypical “rags-to-riches” story isn’t the entire story.

There are trends and opportunities availed to some that aren’t availed to others. It’s fascinating to see it all broken down, all looked at from every angle. All analyzed to the enth degree.

It may seem like beating a dead horse, to look at the same examples of genius for clues as to what made them so successful. Bill Gates, Bill Joy, the Beatles, etc, each of them became who they were through a series of hurdles and timing coincidences. If Bill Gates had been born 2-3 years earlier or later, it is basically impossible that he would have become the founder of Microsoft. If the Beatles had never played at a Hamburg strip club for over 270 nights in less than 2 years, they would never have been able to have the stage presence and practiced ability to burst into fame in the mid-60s.

The book also shows that having the highest IQ doesn’t mean you have the highest likelihood of success in whatever field you choose. Having a high-enough IQ is more important, and having the ability to talk to people and stand up for yourself is just as important as having an above average IQ when it comes to getting opportunities and being able to seize them when they do show up.

One of the basic premises of the book is the 10,000 hour rule. This is a theory-slash-general rule that is tossed about all over the place. To get the skill in one thing to be considered an expert, you need to rack up about 10,000 hours of practice in that skill. Be it music, science, writing, etc. Before that 10,000 hour mark, you are just an amateur working your way up the ladder of experience.

The 10,000 hour rule has a great deal of significance because it’s factuality has been tested and examined throughout the years. It is now generally considered a fact, a rule of thumb, a necessity for those who wish to break through into their chosen subject.

Where people assume that it’s just luck that allows a brainiac like Bill Gates to become the technology company tycoon he is, there are years and years of practice and experience, time to test theories and build knowledge. Almost anyone, given the same opportunity to practice as the big-wigs have, can become just as experienced, just as knowleged in the subject.

What makes an outlier? A combination of ability, effort, and luck.

Are you an outlier?

Peace, love, and read on!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *