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review 2018-12-02 19:01
Review of Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell

I had heard a lot about this book and really enjoyed reading it.  I felt like there were anecdotes and insights on every page that made me think about the world in a different way.  I know that there are places where the interpretations are not quite as simple as Gladwell makes them seem, but I judge a book like this by how much it makes me think and this one was a five star read for me.

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review 2018-03-29 21:58
Brain Food That tasted Good
Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell

This was such an unexpected pleasure to listen to. The narration was fantastic. The information clear and written is such a way that I absorbed and considered the facts presented. For me that is amazing, I am easily distracted and seldom retain most information, ADHD yep. Some of the information seemed stretching, borderline ridiculous, but there were numbers to back the claim. I found his research on the learning systems around the world and the KIPP program the most interesting. It was just another wake up call for American school systems. I listened to this one and want to read it now so I can spend more time thinking about the revelations he explores.
I loved it. I think it was one of the best information books I've read on this subject.

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review 2016-10-12 09:45
"Outliers", de Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers (Fueras de serie): Por qué unas personas tienen éxito y otras no - Malcolm Gladwell

Interesante libro que explica, o al menos, lo intenta, por qué unas personas tienen éxito (laboral) y otras, no. Según la conclusión a la que llega el autor, todo es consecuencia de mucho trabajo y un poco de suerte (más que suerte, estar en el momento adecuado en el lugar oportuno).

Sí que es curioso el estudio que hace sobre los deportistas (jugadores de hockey sobre hielo, en este caso), y la ventaja competitiva que tienen los nacidos a principios de año respecto del resto. Y tiene razón. Como se agrupa a los niños por año de nacimiento, los nacidos a primeros de año tienen un año más que los nacidos a finales. 

Ese argumento se me puede aplicar a mí perfectamente. Si hubiera nacido en enero en vez de en julio, hubiera destacado mucho más (o, para ser más exactos, hubiera destacado) en la práctica futbolística, y en este momento estaría ocupando el banquillo de cualquier equipo Champions tras una exitosa carrera como futbolista. Mi edad mental seguiría anclada en los 12 años, pero mi cuenta bancaria estaría en los doce dígitos.


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review 2015-12-20 00:00
Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell The best thing about this book is that it illuminates how privilege, dumb luck and other exogenous factors are as much an ingredient to success as is hard work. A bit short on hard research, but still a good read.
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review 2015-11-27 00:00
Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell BLUF: This isn’t a self-help book, it’s an OpEd/Pop Science piece.

“Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities …”

Plot: Outliers follows the premise that people only became successful because of the opportunities provided in their life. This includes anything from the time of the year or era they were born to family background to the lucky breaks. While there is a controllable factor in success (practice), Gladwell argues that it must be coupled with other factors in order for success to occur.

My thoughts: After reading this, I’m not really sure why my father recommended this to me to read. I feel like the success of books like Freakonomics has us (my father and I included) excited for any book that explains social science in a readable and entertaining manner. Many readers (ahem.. me) take this information at face value and fail to realize any skews or dissents as they are not discussed. My point: take this with a grain of salt.

While this book’s emphasis is on successful people being formed by group effort, I think it’s unfortunate in the sense that it causes readers to say “Ahh, THIS is why I must not be successful.” Why try to be successful if success is based on factors outside of your control? It’s a demotivator and a concept that can be used to justify one’s lack of effort.

Concepts Discussed: Opining aside, Outliers presents an interesting argument about success. Malcolm Gladwell offers some ideas that seem pretty self explanatory: high general intelligence doesn’t take you far if you don’t have practical intelligence, practice in a trade or skill is necessary for mastery, and culture plays a major part in who we are and how we behave. Other ideas you may be hearing for the first time: how you were raised, arbitrary cutoff dates (schools, sports, etc.), and “what your parents do for a living, and the assumptions that accompany the class your parents belong to” matter.

Summary of Examples: Gladwell discussions include Bill Joy, Bill Gates, The Beatles, Steve Jobs, Chris Langan, Lewis Terman, Oppenheimer, Joe Flow, Alexander Bickle, Maurice and Mort Janklow, Regina and Louis Borgenict, the Howards and Turners, Gert Hofstede, Alan Schoenfield, and himself. Arguments are detailed with the use of sports and school advantages, Jewish immigrants, cultural legacies, rice farmers, and the KIPP Academy along with brief life bios for some of the individuals listed above.

Oh, BTW: When asked, “What do you want people to take away from Outliers?” Gladwell answered “My wish with Outliers is that it makes us understand how much of a group project success is”.
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