Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

This is a book to read, be amazed by and then to evaluate in the light of the time that has passed since. The broad thrust of Gladwell’s argument seems to be supported, but some of the detail might be controversial.

Some of the aspects of society that he brings up are fatalist – for example the strong tendency for a child born on 1st of September to do much better in his or her education (and sport career) than a child born on 31st August (because they’re a year more mature in their school grade) is something we can do little about, unless we try to time our procreation to produce winter babies (good luck with that!).

However, the main argument in the book is the infamous 10,000 hour link between greatness and practice. So, there’s a lot to take from this, and most of it is encouraging – success has more to do with practice than talent, and we can all practice, can’t we?

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