Saturday, November 14, 2015

Review: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

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 one of those books I've been meaning to read for awhile, and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.

In Outliers: The Story of Success, readers learn more about the lives of successful people and what factors contribute to their success.

I found this book quite fascinating. The anecdotes went a long way to driving home points without being dry or boring. It was amazing to see what factors were able to influence success in the subjects of the stories, and how this applies to our lives.

The idea of hard work, culture and opportunities combining with talent and intelligence to create successful people makes absolute sense to me. While talent and intelligence does provide advantages, without hard work, upbringing and the traits that come with one's culture and upbringing, success isn't guaranteed.

While reading this book, I tried to compare it to my own experiences and those of the people I know. I'd have to say that it seems to hold true. My classmates from private school and my high school and college (which is one of the top schools in the country) are mostly successful now. The people I know from outside this system, those who didn't grow up middle class or privileged, their success rate varies but it's certainly not as high as that of the people I know who've had better opportunities.

I learned a lot from this book, and happily, it affirms the parenting style I've been using and planning to continue until my child is older. It also made me feel inspired to do more and look for something that's a better fit career-wise. If you've been feeling discouraged because you don't feel successful, this book is a must-read for you.


  1. There are plenty of interesting anecdotes.
  2. It brings up great talking points.
  3. It can be very inspiring.


  1. There were a couple or so dull moments.

“Achievement is talent plus preparation”  

  1. You are feeling uninspired at work.
  2. You wonder what you should do to increase your child's chances of future success.
  3. You've ever wondered why some people are more successful than others.



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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