Sunday, 1 February 2009

Outliers: The Story of Success

I come across this book from Chase Jarvis's blog where he posted on the topic "The secret to success in photography". In that post he listed up 2 important points:
1) Be Undeniably Good. and
2) Dedicate at least 10,000 hours to whatever it is you're looking to master.

The second point caught my attention, and I followed up the link to an enlightening talk by author of this book "Outliers: The Story of Success ", Malcolm Gladwell, where he discussed about the concept of success in a totally different viewpoint, he say "Genius and creativity don’t necessarily spring forth unbidden, they require time and support to experiment, to try and even fail." I enjoyed the talk, and ended up ordered the book from amazon, finished it up in less than a week.

"SB-600 on the top of the book to create a nice shadow underneath it"

Ya, this is an interesting book. It has always been a myth that why do some people succeed far more than others. Usually their story mostly focuses on intelligence and ambition. However, in this book, the author explored deep down to the story of these people, and he summarized up a logic, that are so fascinating which we tend to overlook.

We cannot denied that these successful people is smart and they are extremely lucky in their life where they were born in the right time, and following up a series of opportunities that granted their success. Nevertheless, they all have something in common that we always overlooked: the effort and time, these people dedicated to, before they were given the golden opportunity to shine. This is the basic rule for success: the Theory of 10,000 hours. We have a sense, that genius is the key player in success, but what the stories in this book remind us is actually that's not true. Success need enormous amount of time and effort.

This is the classical episode cited from the book, story of the Beatles.

"The most important episode in the history of the Beatles is what happens to them in the late '50s and early '60s when, for some totally random reason, they are just a garage band in Liverpool. They were invited to Hamburg, Germany, to be the house band for a strip club.And they play seven days a week, eight hours at a time, eight-hours sets for months on end. When they start off they are not a good band, they are a terrible band, but they are forced by virtue of having to fill eight hours every night, night after night, week after week, month after month, they are forced to master the popular-music repertoire, forced to play together compellingly as a band, forced to be inventive, forced to compose music, forced to become complete musicians. And by the time they leave Hamburg, their apprenticeship is complete and they are finally at a level where they can start to explore popular music in the genius way that they do. By the time the Beatles come to America in 1964 at the start of the British Invasion, they have played together live 1200 times. Beatles are off the charts in terms of the amount of time and energy they devote to their craft and that is a powerful and fundamental reason for why they did as well as they do."

This is not the only story: Same story happened for Bill Gates. Ya, Bill Gates, the software tycoon. He also spend enormous amount of time playing with programming code in front of a computer before he was skilled enough to start up Microsoft.

Of course there are still other factors that you need to find out from this book. But here are something that I found it interesting:
1. The story behind plane crash and why Korean Air crashed the most?
2. Asian is better in Math? The culture hold the key to the answer.
3. Is IQ really matter?

Ok, I will stop writing here and let you explore the book yourself. Hope you find this book inspiring too :)



  1. LOL, got introduction. I'm going to get the e-book... =p

  2. interesting..where to get the ebook,colorful world?

  3. tried to find but to no avail... still looking for source...


copyright © 2008 by Bihong