Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review: The Outliers

I know I've said this before, but I've been super busy as of late, but life is beginning to slow down a bit, so I'm back!

I just got done reading The Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, and I've attached a link to amazon, just for you! :)

I actually finished this book over a week ago, but I think I remember most of everything, so here we go.

First of all, the first thing you should know is that there are books about HOW to succeed.  This is NOT one of them.  This book tells you WHY people succeedED.

As this seems kind of strange, let me give you an example.  The first example used in the book talks about how Hockey players overwhelmingly are born in the months Jan-March.  As many hockey leagues are age-based, being born earlier is a tremendous advantage over hockey players born from October-December.  They're a little older, a little bigger, and a little faster.  This means they make the cut for the next league, which means extra training, and they get a little better.  This process continues until they enter the NHL...

That example right there is what this book is about.  And it's your lucky day guys, I'm going to give you the lesson of the book in 3 words!  You ready?!


That's it.  Short and sweet.  You read stories about people who have Advantages and how those contributed to people being successful.  People like Rockefeller and Bill Gates didn't build their empires because of their incredible work ethic.  I mean, that was part of it, but the big thing was that they were in the right place at the right time.  They had access to resources others didn't, they were put in a situation that proved favorable, and that's the reason why you've heard of both of them.

Learning about all the little advantages that contribute to success was interesting, but again, it doesn't necessarily tell you how to create them.

Again, This book tells you why people succeedED, not HOW to succeed.

It's an interesting analysis, which I think definitely has some truth to it.  I don't think every argument he makes is a foolproof fact explaining why things happened (i.e. I don't think the reason that we get a lot of Chinese honors students is that their great-great-great grandparents grew up on Rice Farms), but there is some truth to the general idea behind it.

To Conclude, this book is a fun read.  If you are looking to find out how to succeed in life, this is NOT your book.  If, on the other hand, you're looking for some interesting analysis' of people who are successful, this will be a fun read for you.

Happy Reading!

PS - I want to give a quick shout-out to my lovely sister Cara, who got me this book as an Xmas present.  Thanks Sis!

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