Malcolm Gladwell Why do some succeed where others fail? What makes high-achievers different?

Outliers: The Story of Success

Sports team cut offs influence who eligibility date cut offs. At this age the oldest ones are usually better. When we look for the best ones, we pick the oldest ones (we think they’re the best), and give them access to specialized coaching, opportunities, extra games etc. and create an elite. The arbitrary rule that gave them privileged access to

We create these systems where we identify people that have a narrow initial advantage and then we shower them with all kinds of additional advantages that which causes that small difference to grow.
American economic system – the wealthier you get the more economic advantages you get.

When the international cut off dates for soccer changes, the number of people with birthdays near that cut off date
Soccer teams are dependent on when we choose to put the cut off in relation to peoples birthdays.
These kinds of arbitrarily rules structure advantage and create lasting abilities in certain people to achieve.

Creating gifted kids – we categorize and give them a privileged set of special opportunities.

We are far to impatient to develop peoples talent.
If you want to know if anyone is any good or not at something give them 10,000 hours of practice

Usually those who’ve had some special opportunity to practice. Often a family who’s better off can provide this environment is in a better position to provide this.

IQ tests


IQ is meaningless as a predictor of your ability you’ll do when you get in.

The way in which ivy/elite schools run their admissions program is non-sensical.
You can’t distinguish between people based on entrance criteria.

IQ is of limited use in the prediction of excellence. We just love the idea this # is meaningful.

People who are very very successful in their careers they do not fit the profile of people those who are very success full at school.
We are becoming increasingly and painfully aware that performance at academic tasks is not a useful predictor of performance in the real world.

Society could create systems that even out the distribution of opportunity.

Our over emphasis on individual responsibility for achievement is a way of avoiding responsibility for our collective efforts on behalf of success.

10,000 hours with reference to cognitively complex tasks. You have to put in the necessary amount of repetitions.

Class advantage curve
Some disadvantages are disadvantages. Some disadvantages are advantages.
Some advantages are disadvantages.

Are the social preconditions for achievement in _______ equal, for _____ and _____?
If we can identify a difference in those social preconditions, then this is where we should spend our time and attention.
And if after we’ve equalized those conditions, there continues to be a difference in performance, only then should we ask the question about an inability.

What % of people who are capable of doing (x) end up doing (x).
How good are you at exploiting the talent you’ve got.
We can not even begin to talk about whether they are innately better than us, until we have a capitalization rate that’s equal to theirs; until we have social structures that are in place to allow us to see how much talent we have.
The capitalization rate for (x) in _______ is a fraction of what it is for (x); this is the appropriate way to think of this question.