Outliers: The Story of Success - by Malcolm Gladwell





my notes:

There is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of success

It is only by asking where they are FROM that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t

Our notion that it is the best and the brightest who effortlessly rise to the top is much too simplistic.

By the time they had their first burst of success in 1964, the Beatles had performed live an estimated twelve hundred times. Most bands today don’t perform that many times in their entire careers.

In one seven-month period in 1971, Bill gates and his friends ran up 1,575 hours of computer time, which averages out to eight hours a day, seven days a week.

Lucky breaks seem like the rule.

There are very clear patterns here, and what’s striking is how little we seem to want to acknowledge them.

Intelligence has a threshold.

When Oppenheimer was 9, he once told one of his cousins “Ask me a question in Latin and I will answer you in Greek.”

We’re like the lady who only wants her name in the newspaper twice—when she’s born and when she dies.

But as is so often the case with outliers, buried in that setback was a golden opportunity.

Until the 1970s, it was considered scandalous for one company to buy another company without the target agreeing to be bought.

Both of them toiled away in a relatively obscure field without any great hopes for worldly success.

For centuries in Europe, they had been forbidden to own land, so they had clustered in cities and towns, taking up urban trades and professions. 70 percent of the Eastern European Jews who came through Ellis Island in the 30 years before WW1 had some kind of occupational skill.

Those three things—autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward—are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.

Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning.

He need not have been the smartest in the class, only smart enough.

She belonged to a world so well acquainted with fatal gunshots that she had certain expectations about how they ought to be endured.

The Asian number system is transparent. No number translation is necessary.

Instead of being a rote learning thing, there’s a pattern you can figure out.

We assume that being good at things like calculus and algebra is a simple function of how smart someone is.

You master mathematics if you are willing to try.

Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard on something that most people would give up on.