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Book Review: Outliers: The Story Of Success

OutliersHere's the review of Outliers that I posted on Goodreads and amazon.com.

I enjoyed this book, but I think it's hard to see how to really use the information presented. I was hoping to be able to gain insight from the success stories that I could use in my own career and passions. The biggest takeaway is the importance of hard work (see the 10,000 hour rule, e.g.). But Gladwell shows that privilege and luck play a crucial part in the success of the outliers he studies. It's interesting, and Gladwell seems to be attempting to move the discussion of what makes success to a broader scale, instead of simply focusing on individual work and achievement.

This is worth a read, but I don't see myself going back to it very often. I borrowed an eBook copy from the local library, and if you're going to read it, I'd recommend getting a copy from the library instead of purchasing a copy.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
meep
Jan. 14th, 2011 10:07 am (UTC)
Gladwell is easily taken in by just-so stories.

He spins a good yarn, though. If you don't think too deeply about it, it can be enjoyable.
drmellow
Jan. 14th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
That's right on. The stories are very enjoyable, and it's fun telling them to others over lunch and what-not, but at the end of the day, all you have is a story. You don't have something that can really help you become an "outlier" yourself.

That's what was most disappointing about the book, since I seem to know a lot of people who have really enjoyed it, rating it at 5 stars and stuff. I give it 3 stars.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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