- Author: Malcolm Gladwell | Paperback : 336 pages | ISBN-13 : 978-0316017930
In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
This is a book that changed my perception on success and how it’s achieved. The author says that certainly, although skills, knowledge and a lot of hard work are required, success is also greatly influenced by one’s surrounding. Essentially, that we must look beyond individual merit, to areas such as one’s friends and family, what a person’s parents did for a living, one’s upbringing, community, even birthplace and cultural legacies. His opinion as to what truly distinguishes them and their achievements was “not their extraordinary talent, but their extraordinary opportunities.” Gladwell’s formula for success is: The Right Ecology + Practical Intelligence + Extraordinary Opportunities + Skills & Knowledge + Hard Work & Persistence.
What I loved most is the “10,000-Hour Rule”. Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous time, using the source of The Beatles’ musical talents and Gates’ computer savvy as examples. The Beatles performed live in Hamburg , Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the 10,000-Hour Rule. Gladwell asserts that all of the time The Beatles spent performing shaped their talent, and quotes Beatles’ biographer Philip Norman as saying, “So by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, ‘they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.'” Gates met the 10,000-Hour Rule when he gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it.
Gladwell explains that reaching the 10,000-Hour Rule, which he considers the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. I’ve been practicing this for almost a month and it really works. It embodies you with skills, passion and dedication to what you are doing.
This is a book I highly recommend for my fellow entrepreneurs.
My favorite quotes from the book:
•Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.
•It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether or not our work fulfils us.
•…If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.