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Rodrigo Michelangeli

As an analysis Venezuelan teamwork we consider the book very interesting and profound having noticed the big amount of information that it gives and the strength of the arguments that Mr. Gladwell utilizes. In the first chapter we found an idea that seemed very accurate to reality, he says that the time when the people is born may affect the success of their lives and their development. At first this is pretty hard to believe but when he puts the example of the hockey players in Canada you can start giving him your trust about this fact.

More advanced in the reading we discovered another fascinating fact. Malcolm explains that the most successful people in the world had achieved a specific amount of working and practicing hours first. He proposes 10.000 hours and we felt very identified with the examples that he gives: The Beatles, Bill Joy and Bill Gates because in a way or another we consider ourselves as fans.

Is important to mark that the fact of utilizing this number of hours means a lot to a reader because it makes you understand that success is not only in the hands of those who are geniuses but in the hands of those who reach the 10.000 hours. Now that we mentioned geniuses we can move on to the third chapter “trouble with geniuses”. So far we have seen that extraordinary achievement is less about talent that it is about the opportunity that the person has. This may sound confusing when adapting this concept to the reality we live in Venezuela because most of our successful compatriots had a remarkable lack of opportunities and they still achieved success. We guessed that there are a lot of ways and factors that are essential to be big.

In the matter of IQ Gladwell says that people like Chris Langan (example of the third chapter) doesn’t have their success assured only for the fact that they have a brilliant mind, it tells us that he can figure out hard puzzles but this doesn’t mean that he is going to be an extraordinary outlier.

Now we will center our focus in the chapter that captures most of our attention, the fifth one. “The three lessons of Joe Flom” tell us that the importance of being Jewish is part of the key. They don’t think like the rest as in Joe Flom’s case and how he got so far into the law business after being “toiled away in a relatively obscure field without any great hopes for worldly success” and we are positive about this fact because there are maybe examples in the world and in our country putting the Jewish community very high in an intellectual and practical field. The second part of this key is the demographic luck and the influence this can have in the way to success of anyone. In this part we are not completely convinced because when we look to successful people from our country we noticed that not all of them came from the most developed places of the nation. We would say it’s a matter of when and not where you were born.

The third and last of this lessons “the garment industry and meaningful” talks about a couple, Louis and Regina that were married only a few years ago and had one small child and a second on the way. The importance of this story is how Louis managed to achieve success: to find something that others didn’t offered in terms of selling simple cloth articles. In this way we are very impressed about how creativity can have a big part in the recipe to success, and not always the type of creativity that comes with us but the one that we have to work and exercise to get.

To conclude with small but great words we would like to say: You don’t have to be a genius to achieve success but it is not going to come to you easily. Working hard to get what you want, following some patterns of lives described on this book and a little of luck can help you reach a good combination between success and happiness nevertheless nothing can be guaranteed.

Geraldine Verde

Outliers

Outliers tell us how people become successful in life. Successes are the achievements of goals that we make among our life and that for some people these achievements become easier than for others. That means that for some people they have to work out their success and for others, they just have to live.
Among the chapters, we can appreciate that success it’s not attached only to people with talent, instead it tells you that successful people are special, they have different conditions that make them successful only by being born. It means that success its determined by your age, people that helps in our life, how we were raise, the money we have, and even the place you were born.
Most of the time the Geographical determinism, the way we were raise, our religion, and the money we have, are the principals reasons of why some are successful and dome not. All this characteristics allow us to be the most prepare as possible so we can be able to achieve our goals in an easier way.
The first thing to do to be successful isn’t work hard. Many people work as hard as they can and many of them don’t achieve their goals. The main question is ¿what do some people are success and why others aren’t?
The reasons are a lot more than having a high intellectual coefficient, it depends highly in the Inheritance and the opportunities that each of us have.
It’s very important to mention that the influence and the right moments are important keys that define the success. Finding the right moment, and the right place could make you find the truth of success in life.
Melissa Garcia y Geraldine Verde

Geraldine Verde

Outliers

Outliers tell us how people become successful in life. Successes are the achievements of goals that we make among our life and that for some people these achievements become easier than for others. That means that for some people they have to work out their success and for others, they just have to live.
Among the chapters, we can appreciate that success it’s not attached only to people with talent, instead it tells you that successful people are special, they have different conditions that make them successful only by being born. It means that success its determined by your age, people that helps in our life, how we were raise, the money we have, and even the place you were born.
Most of the time the Geographical determinism, the way we were raise, our religion, and the money we have, are the principals reasons of why some are successful and dome not. All this characteristics allow us to be the most prepare as possible so we can be able to achieve our goals in an easier way.
The first thing to do to be successful isn’t work hard. Many people work as hard as they can and many of them don’t achieve their goals. The main question is ¿what do some people are success and why others aren’t?
The reasons are a lot more than having a high intellectual coefficient, it depends highly in the Inheritance and the opportunities that each of us have.
It’s very important to mention that the influence and the right moments are important keys that define the success. Finding the right moment, and the right place could make you find the truth of success in life.
Melissa Garcia y Geraldine Verde

Valentina Torrealba

Hi Malcom, im from Venezuela, and we read your book in our English Class, my name is Valentina Torrealba and im from Monteavila University. I made an essay about it, and I really wish you can read it.

"Why can´t be me the successful one?
I decided to title my essay in this fashion, because this will be the Nr. 1 question that would come up after reading the book “Outliers” by the renowned author Malcom Gladwell. For those persons who don´t know what the book “Outliers” is about, this brief presentation will expound important information extracted from the book, like how to be a successful person, how to be the best among the best, and above all, why some people succeed and other people don’t.
First, we must understand what “outliers” are. Outliers are special people, different from the others; by their proper characteristics, they are far apart from the common people or even the most representative models.
To explain the success of some people vs. the failure of others, Gladwell studied the players of a Canadian hockey team, finding out that the best players were born in January. Each player is placed in a certain category depending on his month of birth. Even if any player would have the same age if he was born during the same year, those born at the beginning of the year are older, thus more developed, that those born at the end of the same year. The more developed players are required to put much more effort, so they have a more demanding training, which brings out the talent to become a sport star. The author’s conclusion is that, among any given population, time affects the chance to be successful.
Another of Gladwell’s ideas to explain success is the 10,000 hours rule. This rule states that any successful man has dedicated, at least, 10,000 hours to his task. Gladwell gives as example the Beatles rock band, Bill Gates and some others who stand out due to the amount of money they amassed. All these people had the chance to stand out but they also put a big effort behind it to be there. Gladwell found out that most of them obtained a benefit from the context into which their lives evolved. As an example, he talks about those that grew up during the industrial revolution or those who grew up when the computer era began. The author’s conclusion is that the “outliers” had their chance and made the most out of it to be the best among the best.
Gladwell also writes about the different creative abilities that every person have the chance to develop during childhood. Some people will be inspired to create something out of the ordinary thanks to them. The place of birth, the growing-up environment, the type of family and above all, the life style, define the personality of each individual. This process starts at birth. Generally, a child born into wealth will have greater opportunities to succeed than a child born into poverty. Although, this fact doesn’t mean the former would be a best person that the latter. Malcom Gladwell conducted a research and demonstrated that children of high socio-economic classes will remember, even during their vacations, all what they learnt during the school year. Generally, during vacations, these children will perform different activities to promote their development and education. Instead, in general, children of middle or low socio-economic classes, while in vacations, will forget all what they learnt during the school year otherwise concentrating in enjoying their free time. This is why it’s been said that children of high socio-economic classes are more successful.
All this is connected to the three lessons of Joe Flom, in which both the demographic group and the culture (religion) as well as the right family history are highlighted due to their influence over individuals performing as integral human beings. Regarding culture, Gladwell talks about the Korean one and their belief about the infallibility of the supervisory levels. He uses the example of Korean airliners, which, for a while, reported many flight accidents. It’s been said that the reason obeyed to the fact that the control of the plane was solely in the pilot’s hands. If the co-pilot would have detected any failure or mistake, he was not authorized to tell the pilot about it. Under their beliefs, the pilot should be able to find out by himself. Due to the many flight accidents, this belief had to be abolished, replacing it with the standard procedures of the American airliners.
Other research performed by this renowned author is related to the fact that Asiatic people stand out above Americans in mathematics. According to Gladwell, this is due to two main reasons: first, the Asiatic language and numbers are simpler than the American ones and second, because Asiatic people are more precise and disciplined performing any task than Americans.
I want to finish my brief essay with my personal opinion. Setting aside the fact that the researches performed by Gladwell were demonstrated and analyzed with professional zeal, I think we shouldn’t confine ourselves only to the place where we come from, or our culture, or even to the day we were born, to explain success. I truly believe that all happens for a reason in our lives. I think that God provides every person with certain elements in the moment and the place He deems more adequate. God places in front of us the path to do good deeds, and each of us must go in search of it to be successful. Besides, success is not only measured in terms of fame or money, there are more important values which all of us should take up again. Pursuing them, we wouldn’t have one successful person out of ten, but a successful humankind."

Isabella torrealba, Vanessa Gonzalez y Dariana DeGouveia

Our life mission is to be happy. But how can we get it? There is the dilemma, we are happy just if in our happiness we include others. Some people believe that being successful is the way to achieve long-awaited happiness. But what means to be successful? How can we get it?

To understand the meaning of success is important to understand first the process involved in achieving it. Gladwell, talks in his book about the Key Points: working hard is the first point, he clearly exemplifies it, in one of the first chapters when he mentions the rule of 10,00 hours of work, as the minimum time to be the best, the persistence is an important feature as well as natural talent of the person.

Gladwell, in his book outliers presents key features of a successful person, thereby achieving inspire many, and also disappoint many others who do not identify with their theories. Some people think that he’s talking about something unattainable, but Gladwell really wants to make us feel like a man with lots of limitations?

The intention of the writer in outliers is to identify those people who have the requirements as it is: born at the right time, with the right family and in the right place. I think he´s just telling some stories of successful people, true anecdotes, which we should take as an example and motivation for each day be better and achieve our goals.

Outliers is specially made for active reader, is a book that depends on the reader, on his critical and perceptive eye. Gladwell shows one of the interesting secrets of life, as the success, but in an anecdotal way. What makes the work a pleasant reading, as well as at the same time leave a message of personal growth.

Outliers book could be considered a manual for life. The author made brilliants speculations of achievements, through eloquent anecdotes that give us important messages for living, which may be use daily in our lifes.

Isabella torrealba, Vanessa Gonzalez y Dariana DeGouveia

Our life mission is to be happy. But how can we get it? There is the dilemma, we are happy just if in our happiness we include others. Some people believe that being successful is the way to achieve long-awaited happiness. But what means to be successful? How can we get it?

To understand the meaning of success is important to understand first the process involved in achieving it. Gladwell, talks in his book about the Key Points: working hard is the first point, he clearly exemplifies it, in one of the first chapters when he mentions the rule of 10,00 hours of work, as the minimum time to be the best, the persistence is an important feature as well as natural talent of the person.

Gladwell, in his book outliers presents key features of a successful person, thereby achieving inspire many, and also disappoint many others who do not identify with their theories. Some people think that he’s talking about something unattainable, but Gladwell really wants to make us feel like a man with lots of limitations?

The intention of the writer in outliers is to identify those people who have the requirements as it is: born at the right time, with the right family and in the right place. I think he´s just telling some stories of successful people, true anecdotes, which we should take as an example and motivation for each day be better and achieve our goals.

Outliers is specially made for active reader, is a book that depends on the reader, on his critical and perceptive eye. Gladwell shows one of the interesting secrets of life, as the success, but in an anecdotal way. What makes the work a pleasant reading, as well as at the same time leave a message of personal growth.

Outliers book could be considered a manual for life. The author made brilliants speculations of achievements, through eloquent anecdotes that give us important messages for living, which may be use daily in our lifes.

Norm

Malcolm,
I think I am living in the twilight zone. I just came back home with a buy one get one free Whopper. I made a big pile of french fries to go with the Whoppers. When I filled a dish with my cheap Aldi's catsup, I thought about your Heinz catsup story on Charle Rose. I wish I had Heinz catsup! I couldn't remember your name. As usual, I like to watch TV when I am eating. Damn if you face and name showed up on the PBS genealogy show, Amnerican Faces, as soon as my TV came on! I would have just said this happened by chance, but crap like this happens all the time! This is a true story, I'm not telling a whopper!

Fabiana & Melanie

Dear Mr. Malcom:
We are two girls from Caracas, Venezuela that just had the opportunity to read your fantastic book “Outliers” for our english class at college.
We agreed that although we where convinced with your theories about why some people succeed or not, we also think that lucky circumstances must be taking into consideration.
One of the theories that caught our attention the most was the one of the 10,000 hour rule. It did such an impact on the class, that our teacher gave us the assignment of searching and investigate if someone we admired had indeed his or her 10,000 hours accumulated. Surprisingly, many famous artists that we love hadn’t this 10,000 hours, but still, they are great in whatever the do. So that was the first thing that made us doubt, but then, as we continued reading your book, chapters like “The trouble with geniuses, part 2” made us think that those differences between rich and poor people really are true, and most of all are very palpable in most of societies. In the same way we feel that chapter number five “The three lessons of Joe Flom” is really impressive as well, making us realize that indeed success really depends in most ways of your cultural heritage and the city or country that you live in, and of course in what time you do. But we think that the work or job that you have or do it’s not really important at the time of being successful, because you can be successful at any kind of job, medicine, laws, journalism, etc.
Concluding, we can say that although we don’t agree in every theory that you exposed, we do support you and we are looking forward of reading other book of yours.
Thanks for the attention,
Fabiana and Melanie.

Dr. Tom Bibey

Mr. Gladwell,

I found 'Outliers' spot on. I've had a modest success in life as country Doc, but it would be wrong for me to take the credit. When I was a little boy I made house calls with my physician father. My mom took me to the library every week and let me check out five books; a process we repeated for years. I thought everybody grew up that way.

Everyone thought I was smart, but in reality I was a lazy student until I ran into a high school chemistry teacher who pushed me, and later fell in love with medicine. As it turned out, girls, guitars, and golf didn't undo the work of two fine parents.

I loved your book, and have recommended it to all my friends. Thank you for your time and effort to write it.

Dr. B

Robert M. Smith

I am curious to hear your take on the impact of the current financial crisis on the opportunities for kids trying to get into college or those just getting out who can't find a job. By the mere acident of being born around 1990 (give or take a couple of years)that generation will enjoy a much tougher start than those who were born in 1955. What will be the impact on educational attainment, careers, and personal achievement?

dr. nicholas gavalas

whAT MOZART A TRUE SUPER OUTLIER IS HIS UNMATCHED ATTAINMENT OF SUCH INEFFABLE BEAUTY. RE THE 10,000 HR,RULE. MOZART WAS AVIRTUOSO OF TWO INSTRUMENTS. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS HE DIDN'T LIVE LONGE ENOUGH TO COMPLETE 20.000 HRS. ALSO THE AVIANCA CRASH WAS CAUSED BY THE PILOT'S DIFFICULTY WITH ENGLISH. HE DID NOT CLEARLY REPORT THAT HE WAS OUT OF FUEL AND REQUIRED IMMEDIATE CLEARENCE FOR LANDING

Alexis Wallace

Thank you for Outliers. As a recently retired elementary school counselor, reading Outliers validated my career as I warmly reflected on all the lives I touched, including talking a suicidal 8 year old off a 3rd story window ledge. He is now in law school & engaged to be married. Your book not only highlighted stardom, but the supporting cast, as well.

Neil MacKenzie

Malcolm, as a descendant of the Scottish Highlands who was raised and still live in the Northeast, I take issue with the study you quote in Outliers that was done at the U of Michigan by Cohen and Nisbett. It is implied that the Southern subjects were descended from the Scots-Irish and thus quick to anger, but we know nothing about the subjects from the North as to their heritage. Unless there is other info, I find their conclusion very misleading.

Rosemary

Oh my gosh. Just finished "Outliers." Why isn't this information screaming from the front page of every newspaper, especially the education information? Probably because kids and teachers in the US want to keep their summers off (I'm a teacher, by the way)

Sterling Hada

Coming two years on the heels of the previous comments, I wanted to say that I just finished reading "Outliers" and was fascinated and enthralled by it. I particularly noted your discussion of Messers. Feinberg and Levin and their KIPP franchise. This rang a bell and then I recalled that they, in turn, were inspired by a master teacher, Rafe Esquith, at a Teach for America conference in Houston in 1993. Mr. Esquith, whose curriculum they modeled their own schedule upon, mentions them in his own book, "There Are No Shortcuts." It would seem that Mr. Esquith's program for making up the discrepancies of cultural heritage was something he came up with intuitively, and through trial and error. And it seems to work.

Craig

Just finished reading your book. I thought that I'd give you a supporting anecdote from my wife who is a medical doctor in a lower socio-economic area. Mother comes in with two kids under 7 with behavioral issues wanting some Ritalin. Now, my wife is a skeptic with respect to ADHD et al. so she asks some questions...The family has just returned from a non-English speaking country in Europe. Father is artisan who was offered a 3 year overseas stint because of his manual skills...
My wife asks "Where did you stay?" In a caravan next to the work site, was the reply. "Where did the kids go to school?" Oh, no. They didn't go school, they didn't speak the local language; they stayed at home with me and I taught them.

My wife cries when she retells this story. Here was the opportunity of a lifetime for the kids, but one not taken because it wasn't one that this working class family saw.

bill

I think that your books are just good sources for new cliches and do represent creative or precise or complete thought. I do not know how you sell your books. I am disappointed in your naive views of new drug development and the articles you wrote about that topic. I wish you find another career in which you would be a contributor instead of a distraction

coach suitcase

The motivation to succeed comes from the burning desire to achieve a purpose. Napoleon Hill wrote, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

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If you would convince others, you seem open to conviction yourself. What do you think?

George

Slobbering fan or not, I must say I am probably the only Indian (yup! the citizen bordering those chinese) who looks forward to every piece of literary genius being spilled from your digital keys. http://www.rapidpig.com I just hope I get it as quickly here in Bangalore - heritage or not :)

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I like the way you made your point tho

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Thanks for share I will check the link out

Nick DiGiovacchino

Dear Mr. Gladwell,

Our senior English class read your book “Outliers” in order to relate the information to our essential course question: to what extent do time and place define a person? The question gives a structure to this course and every activity we do or book we read relates to it. I thought that your book fit perfectly within our curriculum for several reasons.

The second chapter, The 10,000 Hour Rule, was one of my favorites. I had always wondered what made Bill Gates so successful and I knew it could not just be his intelligence. I thought it was interesting that significantly different people and groups like the violinists, Bill Gates and The Beatles all have one thing in common: 10,000 hours. What lead you to such a specific number? You also talked about how The Beatles and Bill Gates just happened to be in the right place at the right time that led to their success and it seems as though that is true. In this case, Bill Gates had unlimited access to a computer and was born in the right year and these facts defined him as a success later in life because of the opportunities he was given. The Beatles hit the 10,000 hour mark because of their extensive time they spent together before they began to perform live and this also defined them as an influential music group that people still talk about today.

Another one of my favorite chapters was The Ethnical Theory of Plane Crashes. This chapter dealt more with the place someone is born which determines their PDI level. It makes perfect sense that someone who is born in a low PDI country would have more courage to stand up to their superiors and prevent a crash as opposed to a person from a high PDI country. This one piece of information about PDI levels is critical in determining the safety of an aircraft and relates directly with our essential question. In this case, the place where someone is born has a direct effect on their PDI level and defines them as a pilot, if they choose the profession.

The third chapter I found the most interesting was Rice Paddies and Math Tests. This chapter also deals more with the place someone is born and how their environment defines them. Chinese children are better at math because in their country, numbers are easier to learn due to the way their language is structured. They are also harder workers than American children because their ancestors had to be hard workers in order to take care of their rice crop, in order to prevent starvation and also to make a living. The place where Chinese children grew up, China, is much different than America and has different values as a result. This defines how well children in each country will do in school, with the exception of a few outliers.

The only one of these chapters that would apply to my life is the third chapter I mentioned. In my school, there are many different cultures represented and Asians are a large part of them. Typically, they seem to choose the higher-level math courses and are generally harder workers than their American counterparts, which makes sense because of the ideas you presented in your book. There are exceptions but that is the general trend. Overall, your book integrated well with our curriculum and I am encouraged to read the other books you have written.
Sincerely, Nick DiGiovacchino

Some English Student

Mr. Gladwell,
I am an English student in high school and I was recently assigned your book Outliers to read in class. Our English courses are based off of something called the essential question model, which means that everything we do over the course of the class is related back to a single question. This keeps the course organized and coherent. The essential question for this year is “to what extent to time and place define a person?” Your book bears extreme relevance to this question. Since the book’s main theme is that success is achieved through the appearance of opportunities and one’s ability to take them, and opportunities arise as a result of time and place, the book often contributed toward answering our question. Stories about people like Bill Joy, who had an amazing opportunity to gain programming experience, or Jewish lawyers, who were thrust into a huge future market, show that the time and place where people are can define their lives and even their personalities.
Outliers was not only good for helping to answer our class’s essential question; it also held many things of personal interest for me. One of the chapters that I found particularly interesting is “The Matthew Effect”. Being brought up in the Little League system myself, I had always noticed that some boys on the team were older than others. I even saw the same thing in our school system, but I never thought that it had such a profound effect. The extent to which cut-off dates define rosters astounded me.
One of the chapters that I had a small dispute with was “Marita’s Bargain”. In the story, the KIPP Academy is put forth as an example of what the United States needs to keep up with the education race that we are now apparently in with other nations. While the program certainly seems to work, I would argue that it basically grants kids success in academics at the expense of their childhood. Marita has to get up early and works almost until she has to go to bed. She is essentially deprived of the playfulness and being silly that is known as “being a kid”. First graders do not work as hard as college students because they are, in fact, not college students. My concern with this sort of program is that the students raised in it will place great value on meaningful work, but little value on fun and quality of life. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is what I foresee.
One of the chapters that I found agrees very much with my views however, was “The Trouble with Geniuses”. I have always placed a fairly large amount of importance on social skills, especially those of face-to-face interaction. I very much liked how in your book you underscored the importance of factors other than intelligence with reference to success. I have always felt that the ability to effectively communicate and work with others is vital to success in the working world and even sometimes in academia. Sometimes I fear that my generation communicates too much through text and that this is going to hurt us in the long run when we have to start working with each other.
Something in my own life that I found very interesting to consider after reading Outliers is my own choice of career field. I am trying for mechanical engineering because I believe that is what I will enjoy the most, but I find myself often wondering if I should choose software engineering instead. This is because I became a programmer on my robotics team only because we really needed someone to do it. I found that I didn’t really like it, but I’m fairly good at it, and now that I’ve had so much experience in it already I find myself more drawn to it. I think this relates to what you said in “The Matthew Effect” about success and encouragement and perhaps even a little bit to “The 10,000 Hour Rule”. Essentially I am drawn to continue programming because I have already found that I am good at it and because I have a head start on those 10,000 hours.
Your book has given me much food for thought even if it really hasn’t influenced any of my decision making or view points. I wish you success in your future endeavors.
Sincerely,
Some English Student

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  • I'm a writer for the New Yorker magazine, and the author of four books, "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference", "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" and "Outliers: The Story of Success." My latest book, "What the Dog Saw" is a compilation of stories published in The New Yorker. I was born in England, and raised in southwestern Ontario in Canada. Now I live in New York City.

    My great claim to fame is that I'm from the town where they invented the BlackBerry. My family also believes (with some justification) that we are distantly related to Colin Powell. I invite you to look closely at the photograph above and draw your own conclusions.

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