Book Learnings.. Outliers

This is the second book I have read as part of the ABAM agreement. It was a pretty interesting book, and here are the things that struck me most..

1. Gladwell can’t seem to stress enough that hard work is everything! I love the 10,000 hour rule.. it is so very true. The 10,000 rule states that no matter how innately talented you are, you need to spend 10,000 hours on something to truly become an expert in it. He gives examples of many people, who we think became the famous geniuses they are overnight.. This book tells you otherwise. It was really heartening to know that EVERYONE has to work for their success. Luck/talent is only 2% of the journey.. 98% is plain hard work!

2. Gladwell also talks about how its very inaccurate it is to measure intelligence and relate it to how successful a person is.. He says you only have to be above the threshold (or smart enough), after which it doesn’t really matter if the other person has an IQ that is 5 points higher than you or 20 points.. Of course, the other factors that come into play are your street-smartness, ability to talk to people and other soft skills that are taught to you by your parents, school and society. Regardless of what people say, it does help to come from a good background with a good school and good friends.. There are so many people who are extremely brilliant but just don’t have the opportunity to develop their minds to do something great.. So a lot doesn’t depend on your hands, but you should do your best with whatever you have and you might just beat the person who has everything but just didn’t work as hard as you.

3. There is a chapter on “meaningful work”, that I found very interesting. Gladwell describes the story of a Jewish immigrant in New York, who made children’s clothes along with his wife and sold them on the streets.. His sons saw their father work extremely hard to survive, but they also saw that his work was very satisfying to him- he was his own boss, he used his creativity and imagination everyday to sell his wares, and most importantly- there was a direct relationship between effort and reward. These three things- autonomy, complexity and relationship between effort and reward are the things that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. The aspect of money can take you only so far in a job..

The book ends saying that the so called Outliers are not really outliers- they are just normal people who had a little bit of luck and a little bit of opportunity, but most importantly worked very hard and really enjoyed their work.

Have a nice Sunday fellow ABAMers! πŸ™‚


3 thoughts on “Book Learnings.. Outliers

  1. Hey Shwe,

    Nice one! I really liked the Outliers book as well..

    1) I found the 10,000 hour rule very inspiring. I also love the stress Gladwell puts on preparation. He describes successful people as those who put in the 10k hours as soon as they got the opportunity. ‘Preparation meeting opportunity’ is very inspiring indeed!

    2) Interesting point made about the intelligence. Gives us all a lot of belief, doesn’t it? haha..

    3) ‘Autonomy, complexity and relationship between effort and reward’ – Nice! Will keep that in mind.. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the refresher. Looking forward to the next one!


  2. I have n’t read this book.
    But your point no 3 will make me pick up this book soon.
    For someone who is looking for ‘meaningful work’ (not that I have made my million) like me, this has to be explored in detail…
    thx for the lead.

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