Business Book Review: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

If you’ve ever come across the notion that it takes 10,000 hours to become the master of a craft, then you’ve heard of Malcolm Gladwell before. His bestselling business book Outliers was the first to introduce us to the idea that “time on task” is a key determinant of success. But that’s not all the book is about. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell also takes a deep dive into a variety of other factors that make high-achieving individuals so successful.

Who is Malcom Gladwell, The Author of Outliers: The Story of Success?

Malcolm Gladwell is a British-born writer, podcaster, and entrepreneur. He is most known for his business book Outliers, and has also written The Tipping Point, Blink, and Talking to Strangers. He also produces a history podcast called Revisionist History, and a music podcast called Broken Record.

The Style of Outliers: The Story of Success

Gladwell’s style is easy and accessible, blending in interesting anecdotes and hard facts. He probably wouldn’t have over 5 books at the top of the New York Times bestsellers list if he didn’t write engagingly, so this book is definitely well-written.

The Content of Outliers: The Story of Success

Gladwell’s book is all about asking the question, what makes successful people so successful? What’s interesting about his answer is that he doesn’t focus so much on “mindset” or “force of will”. It’s easy for many business books to overstate the fact that anyone can become successful. While there’s certainly a case to be made for the “self-made man”, this concept also ignores the structures that allow certain people to become successful more easily.

In this book, Gladwell develops the thesis that to be successful, you must invest a lot of time into whatever you’re doing, and have the right opportunities. According to him, it’s not really about talent or natural ability. To get truly great at something, you must put in at least 10,000 hours of work, and that over the course of a lifetime. Furthermore, you must have access to the right opportunities at the right time, which depends a lot on your background.

What we can really learn from this business book is that we shouldn’t give up on the first attempt. Successful people are the ones who persevere and know how to find the right opportunities to develop.

Is Outliers: The Story of Success for Me?

If you love success stories, then this book is for you. Gladwell does a very good job of presenting stories about successful inventors, entrepreneurs, musicians, and more. But if you’re looking for a more business-focused book, you might be disappointed. Ultimately, I think that many of the lessons Gladwell gives in this book are applicable to different ambitions. But this is not the book for you to learn how to run a business.

Final Thoughts on Outliers: The Story of Success

Gladwell’s book has made a massive splash in the world of self-help. In fact, you’re more likely than not to have come across his 10,000 hours theory before. This book is a great introduction to the thinking of the man who brought us this theory. Overall, it’s a very engaging book with some interesting ideas on how anyone can become successful with just a few key ingredients.

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