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Review: Outliers: The Story of Success

Editorial Review - Bookreporter.com - Harvey Freedenberg

If Malcolm Gladwell did not exist, we probably would have to invent him. In his third book, Gladwell continues to demonstrate his facility for taking often obscure sociological and psychological data and theories and spinning them into an engaging popular work. What distinguishes OUTLIERS from its bestselling predecessors, THE TIPPING POINT and BLINK, is that at its heart lies a passionate ... Read full review

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I purchased the book at the recommendation of somebody I consider to be a friend, and read it fairly quickly, whilst I was in the midst of some and planning some other fairly dramatic life changes. The book is inspiring, and, a fairly easy read for those who can relate to the importance of doing things differently, and who are committed to success at various of their endeavors. The importance of being different, and creating ways to "stand out from the crowd" a highlight. 

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Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” was a good perspective on the successes of past and current entrepreneurs. My name is Mike B. and I am currently enrolled in an Entrepreneurship class (ENTR300) at the University of Baltimore in Maryland. I was assigned this book to build my knowledge into what makes a great entrepreneur, and to analyze the different factors that make them successful. This is not a typical informative “textbook-style” book; the author uses a more casual style of writing to keep the interest of the reader. The notion of the book is that entrepreneurs carry different variables that in time lead them to being successful. The overall argument is that although a high IQ is a large factor in a successful entrepreneur, external variables such as opportunity and legacy also have quite an impact. The internal aspect that the author outlines is the magic number of ten thousand hours of practice at a young age. This allows the individual a level of expertise and a great head start amongst their peers. The most recognizable example Gladwell uses (spoiler alert) is the one of Bill Gates. Although he was an intellectual at a young age, he had access to a large computer system, giving him the opportunity of a head-start expertise and an utmost advantage amongst those in his field. I think the moral of his story is that in order to become a successful individual, you must examine what you have, where you want to be, be tenacious, and take advantage of every opportunity.
Overall, I think this book is a good read and does a great job at examining how individuals became superstars in their field. Relatable and quotable.
 

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James Demery
ENTR 300
The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell tells the story of not one but many individuals who have had a sort of success story. I am a University of Baltimore student enrolled in an
Entrepreneur course and was assigned to read this book. The primary focus are on individuals that Gladwell deems ‘Outliers.’ However, for all of Gladwell’s subjects overall upbringing and life influences as a greater focus than the actual success of the subject’s career.
Gladwell begins by emphasizing a quote from the Bible from the Book of Mathew using it as a template to describe the mission of his book. The book itself is split into two sections Opportunity and Legacy each telling a number of short stories. Gladwell narrates in a semi-casual manner as if speaking to the readers themselves which makes it more interesting than hearing a simple restatement of events in a boring monotone. My only true complaint with The Outliers is the book is quite long and the transition between the various stories can be tiresome to the reader.
Still I believe that The Outliers can open the eyes of any aspiring entrepreneur that it is impossible to succeed with the right support. Other tales in the book show that even one’s home environment can be a limiting or encouraging factor when it comes to an idea regardless of intelligence level. I admire that Gladwell places emphasis on the importance of environment and family support while effectively keeping the idea of what could happen without it.
 

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Great book. Really encouraging for us "regular people" who don't do anything particularly spetacular. But I also found it interesting what makes an outlier, good or bad, and some of the assumptions we make outliers. Some of Gladwell's points seem a little reaching, but for the most part it was well researched and a very stimulating read.  

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The good point of this book is that it provides comprehensive analyses why people become an outlier, which is good for parents to raise their offsprings. To my disappointed, the book fails to provide motivation and way forward for middle age people who are trapped in average or below average life to move to outstanding life, to more successful in life.  

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Generally a good read, but needs more hard research to back up the overall premise.

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Malcolm Gladwell's entertaining and insightful analysis into the secrets of success, the value of a commitment to hard work and the edge given to those with a privileged upbringing is worth reading. His ability to interpret statistics within a cultural anthropological framework is a refreshing, agenda free contribution to literature. 

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I am not quite done with this book but its is brilliantly spot on and profoundly eye opening. That success is all quite a game of chance, timing, luck and recognizing opportunity. Its a definite must read for the introspective soul and tor those trying to find the way to their own self realization.  

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An amazing book

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