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Outliers was an excellent book! UNTIL the end... Mr. Gladwell did not have to end the book, 4 pages before the end, with the graphic description of the horrors of torture William Thistlewood inflicted on his slaves. This was not necessary, and overshadowed all the amazing, wonderful information before that in the book. For those of us who are empathetic and sensitive, it was a gross and painful and USELESS sentence that could easily have been left out. Mr. Gladwell, I am not sure I can read any more of your books if you are going to pull stunts like that.

Vince Fagan

Mister Gladwell,

I have just concluded a read I wished not to end. Outliers is wonderful.
To be or not to be an outlier is not the question I see. Meaningful work, chance, timing,thoughtfulness,usefulness all paly a part if you wish to see it. Thank you for playing the part of removing the cataracts.
I now know what to do with my vocation.

Reetesh Srivastava

Reading this I felt that you have taken the wrong conclusion. I think that its because Asian parents pay so much more attention to education of their kids, the teacher to student ratio does not matter to that extent. In the West I believe parents teach much more self reliance which explains the entrepreneurial skills of the kids when they grow up, but it also means more freedom and less strict parents which results in lower mathematical skills.

keith piccirillo

Class size and learning is a function of how a teacher introduces the material to the students.
A teacher who has separate work stations so children can work in groups each day operates differently than one who teaches in columns. Effectiveness can be measured by teacher style, i.e., a soft spoken or montotone teacher would not fare well in a regimented setting, but may do well in smaller groups.
As an aside, I wondered if you had any thoughts about how Toyota corporate culture might have some parallels with Korean air safety findings.
I read your book Outliers and it has made an indelible impression. I look forward to your magazine articles as well.


aww adversity got to love it! lol

Sandy Nieto

Students: Sandra Nieto And Loreana Núñez


Every day we all work hard to achieve our goals, we wake up early, we quickly leave our homes to start our daily routine. The typical life of an average person is based on this simple agenda. A lot of people get satisfied with this kind of life, keeping the best for the future. Very few are the ones who take risks, live the present moment to the fullest without looking back, giving the best they can, pushing it to the limit, going against the rules, people who do it their way and dare to think different, dare to be different. Malcom Gladwell calls them Outliers.
Outliers is a book that tells through anecdotes, interviews and reflections, a not-known but very interesting story, the story of success.
In history, is common to observe the raise of important people, known for achieving feats or discovering something. These people have a large family history and they normally explain a new vision of the world, which at first is hard to understand because of the conformist mentality of the masses but then it becomes an important factor for the progress of humanity. What we know for sure is that these people have goals and a great determination for achieving them.
Through time people realize that not everyone succeeds, and then the question is what’s the reason of this? Outliers focuses on facts, analyses information and summarizes it in stories of real people that have succeeded following a series of pattern behavior. By showing real testimonies the readers can submerge themselves in the scenery of these stories.
Malcom Gladwell’s most important theory explains that there are some crucial factors that lead someone to success. Some of these factors are: The geographic factor (time and space), the background, and the hard work with a little bit of luck.
The geographic factors, Gladwell explains, includes time and space because he considers important to be in the right place at the right time. Where someone is born determines the things they can learn due to the elements around them are the ones that will help to the preparation of their future and the time someone is born determines if the decade allows the development of their talents.
The background is just as important because the child’s future depends on the parent’s education and preparation, the family resources, and even their religious beliefs. The Jews are mentioned in this book because these families were the privileged ones during the commercial boom, when the new ideas were welcomed by society. This is mentioned, for example, when the Jew families that immigrated to The U.S in the right time to excelled themselves, started being shopkeepers, in their own industries, and from there became great business people and after a few generations, their descendants would become doctors or lawyers.
The last factor is the hard work, which is necessary to achieve goals. To obtain good results, a great effort is required, along with sacrifice. For instance, the Jews, when they got to the U.S and started their own companies, they needed to work hard for a long time before seeing the final result. However, this factor depends on the luck, because even when hard work is involved not everyone succeeds without a little luck.
Besides these factors, Malcom gladwell exposes in his book, the importance of values deeply rooted in people. It’s important to have well-defined these moral principles and personal values and to be true to them to manage properly the way to success. Likewise, at the time of team working, it is important to keep good communication and to know how to express the ideas without a problem to prevent possible failures.
In conclusion, Malcom Gladwell’s work mentions the necessary factors a person needs to succeed, showing that there’s deciding things that should be fulfilled to get the work satisfactory done.

valera, velasquez y figueroa

¿Why do successful people get where they are? Gladwell’s theory says that innate talent is just a factor, there are other things that are more important: opportunities that someone had as a child and cultural heritage, opportunities will be found in the right time and moment.

Outliers gives us a clear vision of how some people manage to be extraordinaire businessmen, athletes, lawyers, etc; by circumstances or reasons that one wouldn’t think they would influence that person, for example, air crashes make pilots be good so they can prevent them.

People think that hard work leads to a successful life, but Gladwell shows us that it’s not just hard work, but the decisions we make or opportunities we have, whether they come from family, institutions, generations or culture, that present themselves and make these people highlight from a crowd

The Fact that a person has a high IQ doesn’t change the possibilities of being successful, Gladwell analizes different stories of successful people and they all have 10.000 o more hours of practice in common, so talent is not that important, practice is, for example, Bill Gates, he managed to be outliers not because of his effort but because of his opportunities he had in his life, and others like Chris Langan that despite being brilliant, he lacked opportunities and dropped out of college and ended being a farmer.

The Canadian hockey players show a pretty good example of the opportunities people have in life. If you check the player’s data, you will see that the best players were born in specific months of the year, would these be magical months or just a Canadian tradition? No, the kids go to tryouts when they’re 9 years old, but the trainers select by majority the kids that were born in the first 3 months of the year because they’re more mature than the ones who turn 9 in the middle of the year. Besides, the older ones, being more mature and bigger, are pushed more and they practice more, being the first ones in the gaming list. Some Canadian parents plan their pregnancies so that their sons were born the first months of the year and achieve better in hockey.

Geraldine Verde


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

Brad Nykyforiak

Loved the contribution by Asa Stenstrom! That's a wonderful lesson in making adversity work for you on a deep level. It's amazing that's you've found such grace with your burden!

Patsy McLaughlin

RE: What the Dog Saw-
Was delighted to see the topic of interviewing in the book, as recruitment & selection is my career.
I have the audio-book and was surprisedto hear the bit about interviews are like "dating/love affairs" and "arranged marriages"
-- that you did not give credit to the unidentified recruiter who originally made that statement.
I too have been using that complete statement for a number of years, because it is so innovative as a teaching tool for hiring managers.
I was disappointed that you slipped in as an original thought.
Still love your work

marshall brewer

I just found your blog and am interested in your writings. The Tipping Point for example is very intriguing. Could it be that we are approaching critical mass in the stupidity of our elected officials? Wow it seems that they have all gone off the chart in their thinking and cooperation, etc.
And another question for you is how can we avoid being sucked into the vortex of this movement?
I have got to get your book.


After more than 20 years in the field of education, as a classroom teacher in grades K-12, and as a principal, I have my own insights into why class size reduction has not been the panacea everyone thought it would be. My conclusion is that the failure of it rests largely with the teacher. I taught in classes at the primary level without 20:1. As a principal, all my primary grade teachers had the advantage of the new law--20:1. They were not taught, though, how to gain mileage out of teaching such a small class. Many teachers still teach the whole day in a teacher-directed, whole class style, instead of pulling out 2-3 throughout the day, each day to work more individually, and specifically with the students, or to give informal assessments to find out the child's progress. In high socio-economic districts, the teachers got used to outsourcing their work to parent volunteers, and teacher aides, and thus got used to teaching only 5-10 kids at a time (but in a teacher-directed manner), so 20 seemed impossible to manage. Mostly, the veteran teachers who finally latched onto the opportunity to move down the grades to teach were able to be effective. They had the skills to teach, regardless of the number of kids. I would hold the teacher training programs,as well as the teachers unions, accountable for the lack of progress in student achievement while under the unprecedented opportunity of 20:1. It should have worked. The teaching profession failed the students, unfortunately.


So, I am reading "Blink." Find it good so far and wanted to make a comment. As I am typing this, I am thinking maybe I need to read that section completely before commenting but out of respect for my own "Blink" I have chosen to comment. Page 82. First thing that came to mind was the matter of putting the "black faces" on the left. Isn't that already priming. I mean -left -it is easily equated with "shiesters," "con," "unacceptable" and "wrong" while RIGTH is associated with "fairness," "rightness" "goodness" -the side to which the "white faces" were to be placed .. in the "right category." See my point? The test take is already primed. White to the right, using a right placed key on the keyboard. The test take is already subconsciously cued.

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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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  • What the Dog Saw

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    Tipping Point

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