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by Malcolm Gladwell


  • This book is about outliers, people who stand out exceptionally well from everyone else. But the book proves that these “geniuses” do not standout as a result of their own talent, ability or knowledge.
  • So the people who stand out that we think are the greatest, are really ordinary people who have had circumstances, environments and legacies that have played a big part in getting them to where they are.
  • Being at the right place at the right time and with the right advantages around you can change everything.
  • Outliers are people who do things out of the ordinary.
  • People don’t rise from nothing, they are the beneficiaries of parents and others working in investing in their lives.
  • It is not a question of what successful people are like rather what makes them succeed.
  • Success many times comes from those with more advantage.
  • Student who play instruments better than others have practiced more hours than others.
  • In a study they found that elite music performers practice over 10,000 hours whereas the good performers practice 8,000 hours and the mediocre performers only practiced 4,000 hours.
  • It was said that the big difference for those good enough to get into the famous school of music was how much they practiced – the good practiced a lot, but the best practiced much much more.
  • It is said that 10,000 hours is the magical number for those who want to be an expert in any area. And in study after study of sports players, musicians, chess players, master criminals, etc., this number comes up again and again confirming it’s validity.
  • This number is equivalent to three hours a day for 20 hours a week over a course of 10 years.
  • At one point, Bill Gates was going so much to the computer lab when he was young (from 13 years old on) that he spent 1500 hrs in a short amount of time, equaling out to eight hours a day. From 8th grade to the end of high school, he spent so many hours in the computer lab, that he became very good at it. You must realize that he was sent to an elite school. The school had the opportunity to have a computer when computers were not even around much at all. And the school had funds that were raised specifically for keeping the computer going and updated. Bill Gates had an advantage that others did not. So when he started his own software company, he had well over 10,000 hours of working on computers.
  • The Beatles, Bill Gates so many other outliers did not only have talent, they have the good fortune of being in a position they can spend hours upon hours learning about working in areas that other people did not have.
  • What set the Beatles apart from other rock bands was the amount of hours that they had played together and practiced.
  • A child’s background has much to do with his life. Wealthier children’s parents usually have them involved in sports teams, extra music classes, special special education classes, etc. These are all opportunities that poorer children do not have.
  • Poorer parents tell their children to be submissive and not challenge authority while richer parents teach their children to interact with and challenge authority in order to learn more.
  • No one ever makes it on their own, no one.
  • Successful people do not do it on their own, where they come from matters.
  • Hard work and determination are very important, but the timing and opportunities must be right. Many Successful people have worked hard and are very talented, but they came to the right spot at the right time.
  • Hard work is only a prison sentence if it does not have any meaning.
  • A study on education amongst poor children and wealthy children are on about the same level when they begin school at a young age. But after summer, the wealthier children did many times better because during the summer break their parents enrolled them in educational opportunities and supplied books to read but the poorer kids didn’t have those opportunities.
  • Many Asian countries have a higher education level than western society, specifically in math. Whereas a western society usually study around 160 days of school in a year, the Asian countries have some 260+ school days in a year.
  • In Jamaica just a short time ago, the lighter colored Jamaicans made up the majority of lawyers whereas the darker skinned only made up 5% – their background and who their parents were gave them more of an opportunity than their education ever could have.
  • So many people are not where they are because of their own doings, it is a matter of inheritance, opportunities, race, status and background that have played a vital part in getting them to where they are.
  • So the “outliers” (those geniuses that stand out above everyone else) are not an really outliers at all.

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