Outliers – Gladwell

Gladwell writes with humility, heart and soul. He often briefly leaves his point to connect it to the grand scheme of life – as any good writer should, for if we don't what is the point of writing?

People that are successful always make it because of an advantage that arose in their time/location/skill set – you could argue that this is the second part of Darwin's Theory of Evolution, that being when an environment changes and a species (without changing itself) thrives due to the conditions. Certain people with the right traits often thrive in business due to the right skills, interest and timing. Plus, as Gladwell would reinforce, the support and help of others.

Should you read this?
It's an interesting book, didn't change my life.

Reading Notes:

  • Success is often a self-fulfilling prophesy. We, as a society, make people successful.
  • We are often biased by our own fulfilling prophesies when it comes to success – we create the worlds top performers by giving the top 10% more training at every stage from casual sport all the way up to the pro-league.
  • Performance ranking: "above the threshold" is all that matters – in sport, finance, business, schooling, etc, we often think that linear ranking is important, but in reality all that matters is "above the threshold". We just have to be "good enough" to succeed.
  • "Culture of honour" is when a man's reputation is at the centre of his livelihood and self-worth.
  • 10,000 rule


  • "The sense of entitlement that has been taught is an attitude perfectly suited to succeeding in the modern world."
  • "Autonomy, complexity and a connection between effort and reward" – on making work satisfying
  • "If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination you can shape the world to your desire."
  • "Practice isn't the thing you do once you are good. It's the think you do that makes you good."
  • "It was a fact. He'd had to make his way alone, and no one – not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses – ever make it alone."
  • "These three things – autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward – are the three qualities that work has to have it it is to be satisfying. Not how much money we make."



Sebastian Kade, Founder of Sumry and Author of Living Happiness, is a software designer and full-stack engineer. He writes thought-provoking articles every now and then on sebastiankade.com

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