Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell
An outlier is, by definition, a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience. So people who are outliers are men and women who, for one reason or another, are so accomplished and so extraordinary that they seem out of the ordinary to the rest of us. But, what is it that makes them that way? Which are the common factors in the stories about success? That’s what this book is all about.
Malcom Gladwell has composed an inspiring and revelatory book divided in two parts: opportunity and legacy. In the first one, the reader gets to discover that some of their most common notions about success aren’t’ completely true, and that, in most cases there is a lot more than sacrifice and hard work as the only road to success. Those values are essential, that’s true, but they are not always enough. Opportunity may present itself in many different forms, and Gladwell illustrates perfectly the importance of an amazing puzzle of variables that had been a common ground for most of the examples, from Bill Gates to the Beatles, that we get to know in this book. The second part, named legacy, is about understanding, assuming, and changing if necessary, our cultural background and inheritance, a notion that gets perfectly clear in chapter seven named “The Ethnic theory of Plane crashes” -an amazing chapter by the way-. This part is about the fact that each of us comes from a culture with its own distinctive mix of strengths and weaknesses, tendencies and predispositions, but sometimes that seems so difficult to acknowledge because it is not politically correct to say so. But, as the author has learned while studying this subject, who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from – and when we ignore that fact, planes crash.
These two concepts above are just a tiny bit of the amazing knowledge that this book contains. Gladwell has managed to write the most informative, interesting and enlightening non-fiction book that I’ve read for a very long time. I was completely immersed in it and I am already looking forward to read “What the dog sow”, “Blink” and “The tipping point” from the author.
I strongly recommend you to get “Outliers” and enjoy this fascinating, provocative and extremely well written book. It will change the way you think about yourself, your story and the things that make us unique and successful. Enjoy!