- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 17 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: November 18, 2008
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001LNK9C4
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Outliers: The Story of Success Audiobook – Unabridged
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In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, Gladwell addresses those very questions. Many people think that success derives from talent and determination, but Gladwell disputes that success doesn’t completely rely on those factors. Prior to reading the book, I heard that it would be very factual and is backed up with numbers and statistics. It didn’t seem like I was going to be as interested as I ended up being. Each chapter Gladwell tackles a different topic which supports his claim about success, and it kept me flipping the page to see what new evidence he would bring up in the next chapter. With each success story, Gladwell synthesises the evidence well to the overall picture so you don’t get confused and to understand the correlation to the bigger picture. The chapter about the correlation between cultural background and plane crashes was a chapter that surprised me the most, and I would get the reaction a lot when he would connect his points and you could understand what all the facts meant together.
In conclusion, Gladwell’s ability to combine mundane facts into a brilliant work of literature opened my mind to a whole new genre. I think anyone that reads this book will learn something from it and will have their eyes opened to a whole new perspective that was never seen before.
In conclusion, "Outliers: The Story of Success" was a great read, and I believe many others will not only enjoy the book but also make connections to it whilst you read!
1. While it started off strongly, it rapidly fell off in all aspects about a third in. The writing was less to the point, the points were less groundbreaking, and seemed to be supported by rather anecdotal observations. It had a comeback here and there, but the majority of the book as weak imo.
2. Overdone storytelling. About 1/5th of the book is spent on a chapter on plane crashes. He makes a very smart and interesting point, but that point was made after about 30 minutes, yet he kept going bringing example after example in excruciating detail. This is closely related to point 1 as it appears that as substance decreased, the exposition of description increased.
3. His stance is too extreme. If the tale of the self made man is one extreme, then outliers is the other extreme as it basically attempts to discredit the successful and say it was all due to luck. He keeps mentioning Bill Gates and how "lucky" he was to have a computer in his school. He also mentions that there were only a handful of school at the time to have such a computer. Well a handful of schools say 12? With say 1000 students on average each? That means 12,000 others had the same chance as him. 12,000 that did not program all night long, to learn this new skill, but rather chose to play ball or worry about boys/girls. While we can discredit everyone by the logic of "if X did not happen, he would not have accomplished Y", the truth is this Malcolm: We are around so much opportunity, more so now than ever, that it's less a question of whether there is opportunity, nut whether we take advantage of it. You are correct that now I'd have a harder time creating my own operating system, that ship has sailed, I agree, but that is looking at success with a very narrow lense. There is always an opportune industry for one to break into, and all it takes is seizing those opportunities. As with your mother, you mention in the Epilogue, if it were not for someone having given her money to go to school, things would have been very different. Don't you think that is selling her short? I'm sure she would have kept asking until she found someone else to give her money.
The true story of success is that successful people will not let their story be changed by adding or removing a variable from their path, they will keep fighting and find something to replace that variable. That's why some of the most successful people have been declined or faced defeat (be it investors, agents, etc.) over a hundred times and kept going. If you'd go back and take away their investor, its safe to say they would have kept going to another 100 and eventually found someone else. And that attitude, as you may claim, is not a stone cold result of legacy, as both those born of a privileged background as well as those with the most painful of pasts have those attitudes... because an attitude is decided in the moment, not something we are born with or given.
In conclusion, it is an interesting read if you want to learn more about people, but take it with a grain of salt. This is NOT personal development, or anything of the sort in case you think this is a book I read and learn to be successful... quite contrary the message appears to comfort those that don't have success and blame society, and poke those with success implying that whatever they have was not earned.