Outliers

Outliers

The Story of Success

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Comments (83)

Add a Comment
t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Feb 11, 2019

This book gives you a golden opportunity to expand your world view, knowledge and outlook on success. Learning that success is truly, by fact, a mixture of luck, circumstance and hard work can be a relief. We learn that some things like what day you were born or what religion you are is out of your control, but you can always put in 1000 hours of practice into what you love, after all practice makes perfect. I would give this book a 5/5. I loved it. It was well researched, and the information was well presented. You never get bored and always finish a chapter wanting to dive in deeper; not that we would expect anything less form Gladwell.
@Pandora of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

b
bilalkartal
Dec 28, 2018

This book offers great insights to *hidden* factors behind success. It shows very well how arbitrary decisions while designing some rules lead to an advantage bias for some subset of people. I highly recommend this book.

Going into this book with an uninterested mindset, I was quickly convinced otherwise. This book ended up to be a pleasant, captivating surprise after finishing the first few chapters. Beginning with the concept of opportunity, Malcolm Gladwell finishes off with cultural legacies in this two-part book. From explaining the success of The Beatles to finding out why Asians are good at math, the author covers a variety of topics to explain the phenomenal lives of outliers. I enjoyed reading this book, for it provides a great deal of information in a riveting manner. I would recommend this book to young adults. I believe that they would enjoy and relate to this book.

n
nguyenducnhungoc
Aug 22, 2018

I approached this book after greatly enjoyed Gladwell's "Revisionists History" podcast. He writes very similarly to the way he speaks. Outliers answers the questions I didn't know I have about social perception and factors of success. Gladwell keeps the book from drying by using a variety of stories which makes my baby-steps into non-fiction a lot more enjoyable.

DBRL_LyndseyR Apr 20, 2018

After watching a Ted Talk by Malcolm Gladwell several years ago, I’ve been wanting to read "Outliers". I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did! Our idea of successful people is so focused on the individual’s natural talents, that we never consider where they come from or how opportunity and luck play a role. Gladwell uses everything from professional hockey players to billionaire's to challenge the way we view success. There is no doubt that I will be referencing this book for years to come.

t
thissucksss
Jan 16, 2018

This is one of the few books I've read that I remember.
I've told many people about this.
Fascinating!

i
Infoopl
Dec 05, 2017

This was a really great book.

b
balakumarnair
Aug 29, 2017

Loved reading this book. I don't believe in all his hypothesis though. A different line of thinking for sure.

n
NRGR
May 27, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyable read and narration... even the second time. He has struck upon a truth universally ignored in our money, fame and celebrity obsessed culture. Intriguing.

d
DrFolklore
May 15, 2017

Outliers is a book to make you question your assumptions about life, and about people who are pre-eminent in their fields. Gladwell, a Canadian, is a writer for The New Yorker, so, of course, his book is both thoughtful and highly readable. He is not so much a researcher, as a thinker who reads the research of others, connects seemingly unrelated ideas, then show the patterns throughout. Some of the ideas covered in this book are so well-know that many of us are already familiar with them, either because of Gladwell's writings or because other journalists used the same sources.

Outliers examines so-called "successful" people, and shows that, while hard work and focus are important elements in their achievements, other factors -- essentially, being in the right place at the right time with the right background -- are immensely important. He illustrates this with numerous examples showing, for instance, that if you speak Chinese, Korean, or Japanese, you'll have a major head start in counting and in doing math in you head over speakers of European languages, and, that the legendary figures of Silicone Valley were all born within about three years, and, as teenagers, had access to computers not dreamed of by others. We learn why, unless your kids are rare exceptions such as Sydney Crosby , you can forget about them becoming NHL players if they wasn't born in the first half of the year. (Do your own research this by looking up hockey players' birthdays on Wikipedia.)

Outliers is a healthy antidote to the many business and self-help books promising that you can will, meditate, pray, or visualize your way to fame and fortune. Gladwell even uses his own history to show us that flukiness is an important factor in defining our reach and limitations, and in determining how well we do in life.

r
Revacard
Jan 04, 2017

I have heard several of his essays mentioned in this book elsewhere, and heard his major theses in this book, too. But it was good to finally read it. I enjoyed it. I do think his theories are kind of flawed and cherry-picked. On the other hand, he does bring up good points about being born at the right time, and other circumstances creates the environment for someone to succeed.

BostonPL_LauraB Sep 12, 2016

Recently I had listened to an episode or two of his podcast, Revisionist History, and I definitely enjoyed those for the most part. Now that I've read a book by him, I realize how similar in style they are - love his storytelling and he makes some very intriguing points. Excited to read more by him!

o
oliviapham
Aug 30, 2016

Great book filled with cocktail-party-ready stories and anecdotes about famous figures and why they became so successful. Spoiler: it's a combination of hard work (10,000hrs of deliberate practice, to be precise), social abilities, and luck.

z
zipread
Aug 06, 2016

Outliers: the Story of Success. --- by. --- Malcolm Gladwell.
What is success anyway? Is it a job that pays googles of money? Is it a job that is somehow satisfy? Is it a job the confers on you The ability to express yourself freely? Whatever it is it's almost certainly not the result of the efforts of the individual who achieves it. In fact it is Gladwell's contention that success comes as a result of the junture of any number of fortunate factors. Were you born in December or January? What is your IQ? In what year were you born? What is the nature of your demographic cohort ? All of these factors come into play, many more in fact, explain success or failure. Gladwell writes well, this goes without saying. The points he makes are always backed up anecdotally. The book isn't big but it does Pack a big whallop. There are a lot of people who should read this book: those who make decisions in education; airline executives; those in the legal profession and lots of others .given all the insights this book purveys, it is a book that should be read by many.

p
pragensis
Mar 12, 2016

I remember reading The Tipping Point and The Blink. I don't remember what they were about without looking them up. I do remember, and that's very important, that enjoyed both of them tremendously. Will I remember, five years down the road, what were Outliers about? Probably not. But I will remember enjoying the intricate mechanism of this author's mind. And when the next title comes along, I know I will enjoy that too.

Catmamakim Feb 15, 2016

This audiobook was perfect for my daily long drives in the car. Narrated with a gentle voice and exceptionally detailed with accounts of fascinating human phenomena, it was a great alternative to listening to the radio and repetitive news stories. The Outliers kept me engaged and wanting to hear more, disappointed every time I had to turn the car off.

bibliotechnocrat Dec 03, 2015

Gladwell is always a pleasure to read, and this book is no exception. Here, he looks at the narratives of great individual successes and looks at some of the factors that went into that achievement. The results are surprising: opportunity, dedication and hard work are the real keys to outsized accomplishment, even for people with obvious talent. It's a great reminder that each of us has more potential than we dare believe.

r
rswcove
Nov 30, 2015

Malcolm Gladwell presents a hit and miss profile as an author for me. I didn't care for 'Blink' and found 'David and Goliath' to be spotty and to occasionally argue against its own thesis. 'The Tipping Point' remains a favorite of mine, and 'Outliers' as well holds a respected place on my bookshelf. As an examination of factors involved in success, this is a useful lifehacking guide for people interested in such things. As a pop science book, it also succeeds in being entertaining and diverting.

p
pdxjxm
Nov 08, 2015

I found this book to be fascinating. It helped me gain a different perspective on our attitudes towards people of different backgrounds and experiences . The explanations of peoples success gave me insight into the bigger picture of success and some of the limiting factors. I enjoyed reading this book very much and highly recommend it!

j
josiahabarber
Jul 27, 2015

Gladwell shares different stories on people who have become sucessful, and delves into how they arrived at where they are in life.

redban May 14, 2015

Never been impressed with pop science, pop sociology, and especially not pop economics!

While Malcolm Gladwell is not as atrocious as the moronic shills who brought us Freakanomics, I have read some major palm-to-the-forehead writings by Gladwell. Like a child brought up in front of cable TV with a curiosity but only within the realms of mainstream corporate/neoliberal propaganda, saturated with assumptions of how merit, incentives, and success works in the Western world.

What's sad is until you read elegant material that challenges this propaganda, you will be content to shovel this drivel down your throat. Try starting with Matt Taibbi, moving to Chris Hedges, then David Graeber, and finally Michael Perelman, Michael Hudson, and Nomi Prims. Some classics by Orwell, London, Kafka, Bradbury, and Huxley are helpful as well.

redban May 14, 2015

More and more unimpressed with pop science, pop sociology, and especially not pop economics!

While Malcolm Gladwell is not as atrocious as the moronic shills who brought us Freakanomics, I have read some major palm-to-the-forehead writings by Gladwell. Like a child brought up in front of cable TV with a curiosity but only within the realms of mainstream corporate/neoliberal propaganda, saturated with assumptions of how merit, incentives, and success works in the Western world.

What's sad is until you read elegant material that challenges this propaganda, you will be content to shovel this drivel down your throat. Try starting with Matt Taibbi, moving to Chris Hedges, then David Graeber, and finally Michael Perelman, Michael Hudson, and Nomi Prims. Some classics by Orwell, London, Kafka, Bradbury, and Huxley are helpful as well.

WVMLStaffPicks Oct 20, 2014

Why are some people very successful? This is a fascinating and compelling review and raison d’etre of exceptional individuals who achieved extraordinary success. Gladwell’s analysis concludes that it takes a convergence of timing, ordinary factors outside one’s control (where and when one was born) added to preparedness, creativity and intelligence to produce the outstanding achiever – the outlier. This book will transform the way one understands success.

redban Sep 05, 2014

This book is a comfortable read; it's a pop sociology fluff-piece after all!

However, there are many assumptions that leave much to be desired. Perhaps, if all areas of society are truly meritocratic, I would find validity and insight in the book's examples. Yes, practice (tends to) makes perfect, but does perfection always equate to success? I would suggest this is a tenuous assumption in the world of business and politics. Large corporations can spends say 30% on marketing/administration and only 15% on research/development. How much do the largest corporations spend simply lobbying (bribing is the correct term) politicians? And why not buy out new innovative startups? This is a model of success, but I fail to see the perfection. Many outliers had exceptional circumstances outside of personal efforts. Success in power (political, financial) is often a completely different story from Gladwell's.

So not as atrocious as Freakanomics (embarrassing attempt at pop Economics), but that is hardly a complement.

jootysun Sep 03, 2014

I loved this book! It was not only thought provoking, but one could really re-evaluate his or her own decisions on some of the frameworks that Gladwell presented.

I do like how he really values hard work in this book and downplays "talent," while society stereotypically excuses low performers by saying they lack "talent" or "intelligence".

Though he is by no means arguing that anyone can succeed with 10,000 hours of practice and the "right" mindset on hard work, he does raise some interesting points in how attitudes really determine one's "success."


1-25 of 83 items

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top