Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell [Book Summary]

Have you encountered a life history of someone that is successful where these successes are thanks to complete dumb luck? Most likely not. Instead, when we talk about tales of achievement, we would like to assume that individuals being discussed have achieved their achievement through skill and effort. We have a myth that these people are “self-made”, and this book chapter will reveal that it doesn’t have a foundation. You’ll know how a lot of obscure factors affect someone’s success, and the majority of those factors lie outside that person’s ability.

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Chapter 1 – The myth that these people are “self-made” is celebrated by our culture

If we come across a brilliant mathematician, we have a tendency to think that his skill for reasonable cognition is, centrally, a thing he was given at the time he was born. This applies to the agility of professional athletes, rhythm sensations of musicians, or analytic skills of computer scientists.

This reason is that we naturally have a tendency to attribute a person’s success or accomplishment to her/his hard work and innate skills.

At the time Jeb Bush contested for being the president of Florida, he named himself “self-made” during his campaign. This is, honestly, absurd; in his immediate family, he had 2 US Presidents, one a rich banker from Wall Street, and the other one a US senator. However, in our culture, as individualism has been really significant he attempted this perspective anyhow.

Jeb Bush’s accomplishments let him be an outlier – an outlier is a person that has accomplished something statistically amazing. However, just like how Bush’s beneficial background assisted him to attain success, so as well do fewer outside elements assist other outliers to emerge above the ordinary. 

We put really big value on people and this “self-made” accomplishment that we usually deliberately disregard outside elements.

Men that are “self-made” have been a myth – a really, really common myth.

Chapter 2 – As soon as you get to a specific limit, raised skills cannot help you be successful anymore.

Although innate abilities are significant, having a 6’10” length does not assure a basketball deal of millions of dollars, and possessing an extreme IQ does not essentially signify a Nobel. What is the reason for this?

Abilities that promote success –such as length for basketballers or analytic skills for mathematicians –possess a “limit.” For instance, after getting to a specific height, additional inches are not that significant for basketballers.

This also applies to education too: the entry requirements for several law schools are lower for students from minority backgrounds with the affirmative action policy. These people have a tendency to do somewhat worse during law school generally than their white counterparts; however, according to postgraduate success, there is actually no distinction between white students and students from other races any longer. In spite of their poorer result both prior to and in law school, students from minority backgrounds enjoy the same salaries, get an equal number of honors, and equally, contribute to the field of law with their white counterparts.

Just like how the length of basketballers is important just to a certain limit, following to obtaining an adequate amount of knowledge in legal matters, other elements begin to have a larger part. Similar abilities and characters are essential basic for accomplishment in an area – you cannot turn into a chief specialist of law if you don’t have any logical reasoning abilities–but, as soon as you’ve attained the skills limit, little climbs in reasoning skills won’t promote you. Further aspects such as – social abilities, networks, or a stroke of luck – will advance you.

Chapter 3 – Proficiency of world-class for anything needs practice for about 10000 hours – not an easy thing.

Although talent is definitely a vital component included in the receipt of achievement, hard work looks to be significant as likely, if not further. Bill Gates used lots of time mastering software. The Beatles used much of their time for concerts. Although they were extremely talented people as well, it was the wide practice that allowed them to be really world-class.

In order to attain world-class proficiency for anything, various studies reveal that you have to use a “crucial minimum” time – about 10000 hours – exercising that. Definitely, not everybody can have a chance to use a lot of time practicing a thing.

Firstly, you require the chance to begin early in order for you to get utmost exercise; therefore, you can get an advantage in the rivalry. You require the resources for backing you up as well; it’s difficult to look for time for tasks when you’re using 40 hours each week for being a renowned violinist.

According to the thing you wish to achieve, you might as well have access to costly modern equipment. Support from relatives, friends, mentors, teachers, and nice people you would find outside assists as well.

If you’re fortunate, similar to the Beatles or Bill Gates, you will get these entire things. But, a lot of people don’t; therefore they effectively don’t have the chance to attain world-class proficiency in the fields they selected.

Chapter 4 – Your birth month may have a massive impact on the things you accomplish.

The “relative age” – your age when compared to other people in a team – can kill or cure you.

This is an illustration: in hockey leagues for teenagers in Canada, the qualification boundary date in grouping ages has been the 1st of January. Every child came to the world in a twelve-month period contest with one other. It looks fair, doesn’t it?

Well, it is not fair. Yearly boundary dates pit children who came to the world in January against the children that came to the world in the last days of December. Meaning, December newborn babies contest with children who are essentially 1 year old. 

The system isn’t only stayed by remaining unequal, it also forms a prophecy which is self-fulfilling as well: coaches commend the best players at the age of 9 since they’re more powerful, greater players, although as a matter of fact, they were not; they only have age advantage – 1 year is important when you are 8 since it is a big ⅛ of the life.

The children with an unjust age edge receive more motivation and chances to develop at a susceptible phase of their growth. This is known as “cumulative advantage”, which is the cause why expert hockey players in Canada are born during the initial 6 months of a calendar year more frequently than the last 6 months of the same year.

You may be considering, “Hey, it’s not that important – I am not contesting for hockey neither am I a Canadian!”

However, relative age may form uneven chances in any aspect that makes use of yearly boundary dates to separate individuals into groups according to age. The majority of the sports championships have them. Does a different place come to your mind? Of course, schools.

Hence, the child at 5 years old whose attention time encourages her to have a crayon on her spelling task may grow up believing that she has been a “problematic kid.” Simultaneously, the calm kid at the age of 6 she sat with beside develops to attend Harvard.

Chapter 5 – The way you were raised can deeply affect the extent of your success.

After you attain an ability “limit,” natural skills do not matter while searching for achievement. A very more significant factor is if you possess practical intelligence.

This is “procedural” understanding: understanding how to evaluate and navigate social circumstances to achieve the things you desire – meaning, understanding which person to ask which specific things, and the time to ask. The skill to mingle with and discuss with people in authority can assist move people nearer to the aims they have.

This understanding does not come with birth. Annette Lareau a Sociologist discovered that richer parents impart in kids a sense of “entitlement” more frequently than poorer parents do. Generally speaking, they make this by focusing more on their kids, or by offering kids inspiring activities that enhance intellectual development.

They impart in their kids to want regard and to “personalize” circumstances to fit their wants. Meaning, they instruct their children on practical intelligence.

On the other hand, poor parents are usually threatened by the powerful and allow their kids to trail a structure of “growing naturally” – therefore, they are less assertive, prodding, and inspiring than in richer families. This signifies that kids from poorer families are less likely to be instructed thinking practically, which extremely reduces their risks of success.

Chapter 6 – Your birth year can either make you all or nothing.

“Unfair” edges in this world may come from really improbable places.

Think of various famous software billionaires: Steve Job,  Bill Gates, and Bill Joy from Sun-Microsystems. All these people were given birth to with an incredible talent for logical cognition and aim, practical thinking, and the chance to exercise their abilities. The secret of these extremely accomplished fixed?

Not that rapidly. It is not only that they possessed chances; it is the fact that they possessed an exact chain of possibilities that allow them to achieve 10000 hours for coding practice at precisely the appropriate period in this world.

For them to make the most of on the fast-growing software market, they needed to come to the world at exactly the appropriate period: sufficiently late to get to a fresh computer version to make it very easy to figure out programming bugs; however, not really late that other people might reach their concepts first. Also, they needed to be at the exact appropriate age when beginning their companies; if they had been very older, they probably would be concerned about having a stable, quiet life instead of taking the big risks that made them flourish.

Not all successful software moguls were born between the years 1954 and 1956; however, the reason that a lot of them were indicated being at the appropriate location at the appropriate time matters.

Chapter 7 – The place you originate from – culturally and geographically – may possess a specifically huge impact on the things you accomplish.

You’re most likely conversant with the “math genius Asian” stereotype. Some people might shed tears, “Politically wrong!” at the time they hear about this; however, various aspects of culture from the East do as a matter of fact encourage students to be better at math. One of such is the tongue. In their language, when Asian kids grasp the vocabulary for numbers, they mechanically grasp adding up numbers as well; hence, enhancing their mathematical ability at a tender age.

Additionally to language, the fundamental food for Asians, rice – also assists students to learn math since rice farming promotes a strong ethic in work. Harvesting rice is very more difficult than farming in other crops that are harvested in the West. A strong, rewarding rice farming needs accuracy, patience, and coordination.

Feudal structures in Europe gave cultivators little to express from their harvest; they needed to give back the majority of the products to cruel landlords; however, those kinds of structures were not rampant in Asia, therefore rice farming gave an obvious association between struggle and reward. Due to that, a “hard work culture” was formed; one specifically explaining an age-old adage was, “Nobody who can wake up prior to dawn 360 days annually fails to become rich.”

How does this relate to math? Well, just similar to harvesting rice, math is difficult; you might use one hour attempting to understand why you continue having -17 although the answer should have been 19473.6. Studies have revealed that students from Western nations leave math questions far earlier than pupils in Eastern nations do. 

Therefore, Asians are usually math geniuses; it is an aspect of cultural heritage. People that have lineages who put effort into harvesting rice have a tendency to get an outlook to work which is mainly beneficial for math studies. This propensity continues, although newer generations have stopped rice paddies.

Chapter 8 – When we know the significance of cultural heritage, we may assist more people to work towards achieving success – and hinder defects.

There exist not-loved outliers as well, like plane accidents. This uncommon incident nearly usually occurs from the accumulation of an improbable sequence of little problems or mistakes that could have been unimportant by themselves. However, just like how Bill Gates has been fortunate to meet chance following to another, plane captains may encounter a sequence of little issues that contribute to the tragedy.

An illustration comes from Korean Air, a company that prior to 2000, owned poor safety data. Their accident percentage was seventeen times more than the market mean. This terrible data might be clarified by cultural heritage as well with the fact that Asians are math geniuses.

Korean society respects authority and orders that a person should regularly submit to a person in authority. Hence, when the flight captain has an error, it would not be OK for a lower-ranking crew member to correct the captain since their cultural heritage indicates that they should not.

A Korean Air accident in Guam could be followed back to that kind of communication errors. The top officer of the plane attempted to inform the tired head that vision was really bad to try a visual method to the landing field, however, in order to prevent displeasing the head with a clear command, he basically asked,

“Don’t you reason that the rain is more? Around this region, at this point?”

The head disregarded the top officer’s feeble remark regarding the weather – their airplane bumped to a peak.

Following a change that accepted the issues of the Korean culture of the hierarchy might be seen in airplane flights, Korean Air employed an American organization to promote its employees’ transmission abilities. At the moment its safety data is equal to its rivals.    

Chapter 9 – When we identify the causes of unbalanced playing areas, we may form more chances for individuals to flourish.

The structures we utilize to decrease fledgling skills into achievement tales are hardly useful, leading in just a few outliers that are accomplished.

In hockey, yearly cutoff dates signify juniors that came to the world later same year have to play against children nearly one year bigger. However, a hockey player from Canada born on the 27th of December can’t tell his mother to go back to the past and not labor till the 1st of January, and he must not need to think he might.

A lot of hockey players that could have adopted good ethics or practiced how to deal with the pitch greater than any other person in the competition are lost since resources are given to the people having that unfair edge by coming to the world at the correct period of annum. A cumulative edge for some signifies accumulating drawbacks for other people.

But, as soon as this error in the structure is known, it may be solved. Rather than making use of yearly boundary dates, we might separate teen hockey contestants into 4 times more groups till the edge of comparative age diminishes. Make January-March children play in a team, April-June children in another team, and like that.

The same applies to schools. Rather than settling down and letting the kids of richer families have further possibilities, we may form programs such as KIPP Academy of South Bronx, a severe middle school accessible to pupils from around this severely low-income region. Though this program doesn’t have any tests or requirements, and though the majority of the students are from poor backgrounds, KIPP succeeds in getting 84% of its students to achieve good or above good levels in math when they complete eighth grade.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell Book Review

No one, neither a male, female, or hockey player from Canada is isolated. Amazing achievement is the outcome of a frequently-unseemly sequence of chances, lucky periods, and incidences that unite to form the exact circumstances that permit such accomplishment.

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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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