My Read of the Month:

Title: , Outliers: The Story of Success
Author: Malcom Gladwell
Published: 2008
Genre: Social Psychology/Business
Ratings: 4.0 out of 5 stars

After reading Malcom’s earlier book- The Tipping Point, I thought I would grabbed my hands on this latest title. And I’m not disappointed that I did.

In Outliers, Malcom reveals secret patterns behind everyday phenomena of success. Using several case studies, Malcom goes against conventional thinking that ambition, talent and IQ are the only contributing factors to success.

These outliers (meaning something or someone who is markedly different in value from the others in sample) are outliers more because of a convergence of events entirely out of their control that have created extraordinary opportunities. And had it not been for those opportunities, they may never have become outliers.

Living in a meritocracy society, it is obvious that those who do better would be given more attention to cultivate the talent. So he investigates the possibility that success that could be a result of a random advantage. Like the month we were born in comparison to our peers?

For example, in school, a few months of maturity will likely translate to quicker comprehension, better behavior, and more likely to stand out as “brighter” than the rest, when really they’re merely older.  But the proof is in the numbers, and Gladwell presents plenty of them.

Apart from the age factor, Malcom goes on explain the factor of 10,000 hours. This means getting the chances to practice a skill for at least 10,000 hours which for instance, path the way for the Beatles and Bill Gates towards success during their time. He also includes the idea that cultural legacy as an integral part of the success formula.

In essence, Malcom concludes that outliers are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious and are grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances. All these are critical to making them who they are.

Reading this has inspired me to think beyond my lifetime and to be determined in living a solid legacy for my children and the next generation.

This is a highly entertaining and enlightening book. Go read it. You won’t regret getting your hands on this one.

Who should read it: For anyone and everyone.

My Read of the Month:

Title: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Published: 2000
Genre: Business/Marketing
Ratings: 3.6 out of 5 stars

I’m glad I finally got to read this book. The thrust of the book explains how three things  can converge to bring about dramatic ripple effect that sets of an epidemic in our society- tipping point.

It can be a societal issue or a fashion trend. Malcolm explains that the three things- the law of the few, the stickiness factor and the power of context are what tips something over that it spills and spreads contagiously.

In his book, he presents many interesting case studies to support each of the elements such as the Sesame Street craze among kids, the smoking habit among teens and Hush Puppies resurging popularity in the 90’s.

Though interesting, the case studies can be a bit technical or dry at most parts which can be puzzling in understanding how some of the information is relevant.

Besides cutting down on the technical information, I think the book could have been much better if it was updated with more latest cases that is related with technology or the internet. That would have greatly enhanced the appeal and usefulness of this book.

Who should read it: People who are in the field of business, marketing and communications or anyone who loves gaining general knowledge.