Outliers

There’s a load of great anecdotes in OUTLIERS. The kind to make me nudge Mrs Jameson in the ribs and tell her about them in great detail. But as much as I enjoyed reading the book – and the detail of the various stories within it – I’m not sure it really added up to much.

The thesis is that basically it takes a village. That people who become successful require a large amount of luck as well as innate skill.

And as interesting as all the examples are, I can’t help wondering, is that really news?

Yes, hard work and ability can lead to success, but a person needs the right timing as well, he and she needs to come from a background which gives them the right tools and the right support.

Honestly, there’s really not much more to the argument than that. And as a result, the book does feel like a lot of interesting anecdotes strung together in an interesting fashion, yet somehow being less than the sum of their parts.

 

Fancy reading my new novella, DEATH AT THE SEASIDE. before anyone else? Advance review copies are available here.

2 thoughts on “Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

  1. I found his focus on the fact that no amount of opportunity will do you good without the years of practice in any given field to be operative. In writing we see this as “writing out the bad stuff” in order to get to the good stuff and then simply being in the right place at the right time with the desired skill. Happens in publishing all the time…hence, I found it comforting to have my opinion reinforced that while luck is part of the success equation, the part I can do something about — preparation — is all on me. It is also important to realize that success does not equate to intelligence…just perfect storms of talent and opportunity. Kind of levels the playing field a bit, and takes the sting of insult out of braggarts’ mouths…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is that part, true. The whole you need to work 10,000 hours idea I think is perfectly accurate. It made me wonder how many hours of my life I’ve given to writing, I’d estimate quite a bit over 10,000 by now.

    Liked by 1 person

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