Outliers – The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

February 14, 2012
By Anuradha Parekh

What do plane crashes and Math geniuses have in common? What is the common binding thread between Bill Gates and The Beatles? How much of a role does your IQ play in your subsequent success in life? And how much is your success dependent solely on your own abilities?

These and more questions are answered by Malcolm Gladwell in “Outliers – The Story of Success”. Yes, he can get a bit repetitive, especially when the point he is trying to drive home is pretty simple and makes intuitive sense. However, it is still an interesting read from start to finish mainly for the little tid-bits of information that keeps coming your way on every page, the many incidents that make people and their lives worth reading about. The many examples all point to one thing – that your success is way more than just the derivative of your own abilities. There are many other factors that come into play, some so subtle that it takes many years to figure out the pattern. These factors could range from the month you were born in to your ethnicity and cultural legacy to the opportunities or lack of these that you were offered at various stages of your life. Spanning across many disciplines and eras, Gladwell goes about his business convincing the reader that there is much more than meets the eye. In fact, he even proposes that it is possible to predict which people will achieve success based on some data about their lives.

Maybe it is not as path-breaking as Gladwell appears to think it is. But read it for the little jewels strewn across the pages that make you sit up and say, “Hey, I didn’t know this! Very interesting.”

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This post was submitted by Anuradha Parekh.