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Outliers -Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell


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Super inspiring book that can widen your perspective on things...

Published in: Business

Outliers -Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

  1. 1. OUTLIERS The Story of Success By: Malcolm Gladwell
  2. 2. Outliers • Outliers are men and women who do things out of the ordinary • To understand why certain people become outliers we must look at factors beyond innate talent. We must also look at:  Where they were reared  When they grew up  The culture they belonged to  The characteristics passed down by their forebears
  3. 3. The Ecology of Organisms • The tallest tree in the forest probably came from a hardy acorn, but other factors also contributed to its height. Such factors as:  No other trees blocked sunlight from getting through to the tree  The soil around the tree was rich in nutrients  No animals chewed through its bark when it was a young tree  No one cut it down before it matured
  4. 4. The Effect of Birth Dates • An analysis of a highly successful Canadian hockey team found:  40% of the players were born between January and March  30% were born between April and June  20% were born between July and September  10% were born between October and December
  5. 5. The Effect of Birth Dates • In Canada the eligibility cut off for age-class (club) hockey is January 1 • Those players born early in the year are bigger and more mature than those born later in the year • As a consequence, the older players perform better and are picked for advanced placement where they receive better coaching and more playing time
  6. 6. Summary of the Effects of Age • If you make a decision about who is talented and who is not at an early age and • You separate the “talented” from the “untalented” and provide the talented ones with superior experiences • You will give a huge advantage to those born shortly after the cutoff date
  7. 7. The “Matthew Effect” • “For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance. But from him that hath not shall be taken away even which he hath.” • The rich have a natural advantage • The best students get the best teachers and the most attention
  8. 8. • “People don’t rise from nothing.” • “We do owe something to parentage and patronage. ”The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. • But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantage and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.” The “Matthew Effect”
  9. 9. Accumulative Advantage Some people start off a little bit superior to their peers This initial small difference leads to more opportunities, which makes them more superior, which leads to more opportunities, etc., etc., etc.
  10. 10. Ingredients of Success at a highest LEVEL passion talent Hidden opportunites hardwork
  11. 11. The 10,000 Hour Rule • The closer psychologists look at the careers of outliers, the less important is innate talent and the more important is preparation • Ten thousand hours is the magic number for expertise in most areas • Before they became famous, the Beatles played eight hours a day, seven days a week in a club in Hamburg
  12. 12. Beatles ✘ Came to USA in 1964 ✘ In 1960 they were a struggling school rock band ✘ Were invited to play in Hamburg, Germany ✘ They were asked to play hour after hour to catch the passing traffic ✘ In Liver pool they played one hour session ✘ In Hamburg, they played seven nights a week , 8 hours a day ✘ On their first trip they played 106 nights – 5 or more hours a night ✘ In just over a year and a half, they played performed 270 nights ✘ By 1964, they had performed live an estimated 1200 times ✘ Most bands don’t do that in their entire career
  13. 13. The 10,000 Hour Rule • Mozart , didn’t produce his greatest work until he had been composing for more than 20 years  Music Teachers = 4,000 hours  Good Musicians = 8,000 hours  Great Musicians = 10,000 hours / 10 Years  There are no prodigies 10,000 hours = 3 hours/day x 10 years Learning: Practice
  14. 14. Gates’ Advantage • Parents – Wealthy Lawyer/Banker’s daughter • 7th grade - Private School/Computer club • 1968 - Mother’s Club bought computer terminal for mainframe in downtown Seattle • U. Wash – Computer Center Corp. – leased mainframe time (founder’s son @ same school) • ISI – Free time for working on payroll app • TRW – Independent study semester, writing code for Bonneville power station app • Dropped out of Harvard – had 7 years’ programming experience
  15. 15. The Effect of Timing  If you were too old for the personal computer revolution in 1975 you were probably born before 1952  If you were born after 1959 you were probably too young  Leaders of the personal computer revolution: • Bill Gates – 1955 (Microsoft) • Paul Allen – 1953 (Microsoft #2) • Steve Ballmer – 1956 (Microsoft #24) • Steve Jobs – 1955 (Apple) • Eric Schmidt – 1955 (PARC, Sun (Java), Novell, Google) The most important date in the history of the personal computer revolution is January 1975 when the Altair 8800 was introduced
  16. 16. 1860s & 70 s • Greatest change in American History  Railroads  Wall street  Industrial manufacturing  Rules of traditional economy were broken • How old were you when the transformation happened • Born in the 40’s – too young • Born in the 20’s – too old
  17. 17. 1860s & 70 s • Rockefeller – 1839 ( standard oil) • Andrew Carnegie – 1835 ( Steel ) • Fredrick Weyerhaeuser – 1834 • Jay Gould – 1836 ( Union pacific) • Marshal Field – 1834 ( • George baker – 1840 ( rail road of NJ) • Hetty Green – 1834 ( Bank) • James Fair – 1831 ( Virginia mining) • Henry Rogers – 1840 ( standard oil company) • JP Morgan – 1837 ( general electric) • Oliver Payne – 1839 (Standard oil company) • George Puliman – 1831 ( Pull man) • Peter Arrell – 1834 (American Tobacco) • Philip Armour – 1832 ( Armour refrigerator)
  18. 18. The Trouble with Geniuses, part 1 • Average IQ = 100 • Einstein IQ = 150 • Henry Crowell IQ = 140 • Chris Langan IQ = 195 Nothing can hold folks this smart back, right? It is more about opportunity than it is about talent!
  19. 19. The Trouble with Geniuses, part 1 “A basketball player only has to be tall enough” “A mature scientist with an adult IQ of 130 is as likely to win a Nobel Prize as one whose IQ is 180.” Liam Hudson “The relationship between success and IQ works only up to a point.” You only have to be smart enough!
  20. 20. The Trouble with Geniuses, part 2 Two types of Parenting • Heavily involved and scheduled  Creates the right to pursue their individualism • Not involved and unscheduled  Creates a sense of distance • It is not genetic, its not racial, its cultural • Terman found that “almost none of the genius children from the lowest social and economic class ended up making a name for themselves.”
  21. 21. The ethnic theory of plane crashes • Late 90s – Korean airlines- statistically far too many crashes • The planes are not poor quality, it is the people and the process • Korean culture-person with higher authority should be questioned Effect of culture was responsible for the plane crash
  22. 22.  It takes a series of events (7)  Hierarchy  Cultural communications  Cultural ambiguity You must communicate up and down the hierarchy and across the cultural highway The ethnic theory of plane crashes
  23. 23. Cultures that encourage passive submission to hierarchy, or who phrase their questions in subtle, vague euphemisms, may find themselves at a disadvantage in some situations, such as the airplane cockpit.
  24. 24. “No one who can rise before dawn three hundred and sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.”
  25. 25. Rice Paddies and Math Tests • Rice farmers have had to work harder than every other farmer. • Growing rice requires perfectionism and constant vigilance. There are no vacations. • The days are long with no exception. And the harder a farmer works to optimize his rice paddy, the more rice that paddy will produce. • Some estimate that the average workload of a wet-rice farmer in Asia is three thousand hours a year.
  26. 26. Rice Paddies and Math Tests • Chinese children can learn to count to 40 two years earlier than American children on average. • The system is what psychologists call “transparent.” • The rules are clear enough for very young children to understand counting, addition, and multiplication much more easily.
  27. 27. • Though we often think of facility with math to be a kind of innate trait, it turns out that being good at math is a lot like being good at piloting: math skills are not the only thing that matters. • In fact, persistence is an excellent predictor of someone’s math skills. • This makes the cultural legacy of rice farming all the more relevant to mathematical skill—they both require dedication, persistence, and lots of practice to perfect. Rice Paddies and Math Tests
  28. 28. Researchers have found that one of the most reliable predictors of whether or not a student will be good at math is not their IQ or the quality of their schooling. It is their willingness to complete tasks carefully.
  29. 29. Outliers take maximum advantage of the opportunities that are made available to them • Success is predictable • It is not the brightest who succeed