Outliers: The Story of Success

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Little, Brown, Nov 18, 2008 - Psychology - 320 pages
82 Reviews
There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential.

In The Tipping Point Gladwell changed the way we understand the world. In Blink he changed the way we think about thinking. In OUTLIERS he transforms the way we understand success.

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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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About the author (2008)

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of three other books, The Tipping Point, Blink, and What the Dog Saw, all of which are New York Times bestsellers. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996, prior to which he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business and science and also served as the newspaper's New York City bureau chief. Gladwell was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.

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