Outliers – The Story of Success

Everyone else seems to be reading this book now. Me too.

Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell impressed me. This guy can bundle massive amounts of statistical evidence into fun readable and entertaining stories. I liked this book better The Tipping Point. I don’t recall reading Blink, although my gut reaction is I didn’t. 🙂

This is the story of how success in society almost always starts with a huge statistical advantage that eliminates most competitors. One example in the book was how kids that are six months older than their classmates have an advantage in sports and maturity that compounds over time.

Hey, I was thrown into kindergarten at 4 years old, months before turning 5. Maybe I could have been better in sports or academics had I started at 5 years old? I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody… 😉


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  1. Wow, this is really weird…I’m half-way through this book and had no idea you were reading it as well!

    Really fantastic book so far! I thought it might be a bit more in line with some of the stuff from Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Black Swan, etc.). Or that perhaps this was more Statistical/Economics Infotainment… which it is I guess. But it’s better than most and seems to have more real-world practical implications especially for parents.

  2. I kind of thought there would be some Taleb overtones as well. Nope. It was far better than I anticipated.

  3. This is my first book from Malcolm Gladwell. I’d read some mixed reviews of his other two big books–Blink and Tipping Point–so had passed on em. I just put them on reserve at the library.

  4. I was one of the old kids in kindergarten for that reason and while I think it helped academically, I was always horrible in gym. Turns out a lack of hand eye coordination and fear of the ball cannot be overcome by a 6 month age difference. I’ll have to check out the book though.

  5. Having just finished the book, I have always noticed odd things about the world that didn’t immediately make sense; much like the topics in the book. The Bill Gates story explains everything about his success.

    Example: I have always wondered why poor, uneducated, unattractive people (looks either open or close doors) are so religious, conservative politically, and in the military (pawns for the upper classes) whereas rich, educated, beautiful people are the opposite and are rewarded in life and with their progeny. It would seem better to mimic the upper class and focus on work, education, exercise rather than bake sales and television. Blind devotion does not seem to be working for the poor as their next generation has the same problems (except now with Meth!). As you can imagine people are very offended by this observation and mention “community” or other rationalization. Thoughts?

  6. Elvis sang – Clean Up Your Own Backyard.

    Clean up your own backyard
    Oh dont you hand me none of your lines
    Clean up your own backyard
    You tend to your business, Ill tend to mine

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