Saturday, February 14, 2009

Book Review: Outliers

A little while back I mentioned to a friend that I was considering picking up Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, Outliers: The Story of Success.

"Don't bother. It's one of those books that only covers a single idea that you can get in a single page", he commented.

Having critizeda number of business books for the same reason, I was a little reluctant. However, having watched Gladwell's TED talk a while back, I thought he was a great storyteller and decided to take a chance.

I'm sure glad I did. Outliers is a fantastic book. Yes, its about a single idea: That the 'outlier' successes of the world, the Bill Gates, Olympic Athletes, and rags-to-riches stories that we hear, are often as much products of their environments and cultural legacies as they are 'born different'. 

But backing up that single idea are a number of fascinating, well-researched examples, from areas as wide reaching as cockpit voice recordings of Korean air crashes to the history of New York garment district. Gladwell then brings a talent for colorful storytelling to make it a super entertaining read. Highly recommended.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review. I'm impressed you can keep up with all this reading with your schedule.