Outliers Book Summary: The Story of Success

by Accessory To Success December 23, 2020

Outliers Book Summary: The Story of Success

Table of Contents app: Jump Links

Main Takeaway

Generally, we tend to equate genius and success with ‘innate ability’ or ‘being born with talent’. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, clears these perceptions that we hold. It clarifies that mastery and genius are nothing but the result of seizing opportunity, putting in hard work, upbringing, cultural advantages, and right timing.

Some of his assertions may seem far-fetched, but he follows it up with brilliant examples and well researched stories, driving the point home forcefully. If you are looking for a spectacularly detailed book on how to succeed in life or how to succeed in business, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is the best book for you to read. It is so tremendously detailed and well researched that each chapter could almost be an entire book in and of itself.

What You Will Learn

  • Seize opportunity when it presents itself
  • The 10,000 hour rule
  • How birthdates and birthplace can affect the opportunities coming your way
  • IQ is important, but upbringing and cultural legacy are also equally important
  • Involved parents Vs non-involved parents
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Importance of meaningful work to make an impact
  • Timing is critical to success and opportunity

The Book Summary

A dictionary meaning of outliers says that it is a person, thing, or fact different from other persons, things, or fact. It is someone or something that is detached from the main body or system. A quote from the good book itself sums this up brilliantly – “Outliers are those who have been given opportunities – and who have had strength and presence of mind to seize them."

This book established the world renowned and widely accepted 10,000 Hour Rule and Gladwell is famous for it. He advocates putting in 10,000 Hours into any task to become an expert at it. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour rule draws on diverse and interesting examples to support the rule and he also talks about how to apply it to achieve success.

Outliers Book Summary The Story of Success Quote 1

The Beatles are commonly regarded as the most popular and chart topper rock band of all time. Their success was not overnight, but the result of innumerable hours of practice, playing for free or at minimum fee for many events. They clocked their 10,000 Hours before they became international stars and rocked the music scene. The best book to recommend for more examples and detail about developing skill and not giving up is GRIT by Angela Duckworth.

In this book, Gladwell talks about ice hockey players and their birthdays. He asserts that almost all the best Canadian ice hockey players are born around the same months in any year (January – March). If you are born any month after the age brackets they use to group kids in the minor leagues, you will be younger and smaller than the other players in the team.

Outliers Book Summary The Story of Success Quote 2

The older kids start off with an advantage over you and this gets further compounded, when they get more practice and experience than you. The groundwork for their becoming a top professional player/ outlier is already laid. Natural ability coupled with right circumstances, and the 10,000 Hour rule, birth an outlier. Kevin Pantone the founder of Home Depot has much to say about this in his book I Love Capitalism!

Jewish Americans began as humble immigrants. Generations of hard work, grit and focused determination, had them take generational leaps in prosperity. They grew from a poor, small community doing menial jobs to the current generations of hotshot lawyers. The early generations worked hard to improve their lot in life and educated their children, opening up more avenues to them.

Outliers Book Summary The Story of Success Quote 3

There are also some shocking references to plane crashes and culture which are remarkable to say the least. As mentioned previously each chapter is independent from the others, so if you’re falling out of love with a particular topic, just skip to the next chapter. Another book that is good to bounce around like this more focused on success in business than anything else is The Messy Middle.

This book throws up some salient parenting tips. Bring up your children with a sense of entitlement. This sense of entitlement will hold them in good stead as they grow into adults. They will be able to use this trait to demand and negotiate higher salaries and better jobs.

A lack of this attitude of entitlement, will make you believe that you should defer to people in authority. You are less likely to question them. You blindly follow rules.

Create a conducive environment for your kids to exercise their talents and interests and bestow a sense of entitlement and watch them become a success in life.

Outliers Book Summary The Story of Success Quote 4

Outliers rarely become successful only on account of natural ability. Opportunity, persistence, the 10,000 Hour rule, cultural advantage, and background, are all essential ingredients to the perfect outlier recipe. Reading this book will help you identify the areas in which you are an outlier and proceed to leverage that to be successful in life. Unsure how to identify this? Read the book Linchpin and discover your superpower.

As you journey through the book, lively prose, anecdotes, quotes grab and hold your attention. This is a dense book and has nine chapters. You could probably aim to go through on chapter a month, in order to fully appreciate and comprehend the content therein. Each chapter is incredibly different from the other, it feels like you have been handed nine books for the price of one.

This book was number one on The New York Times bestseller list for eleven consecutive weeks and rightly so.

About The Author

Malcolm Gladwell is an exceptional journalist, author and public speaker. He began his career as a writer for The New Yorker. He is author of 6 best-selling books, and Outliers was his 3rd book, published in 2008.

Gladwell is co-founder of podcast company, Pushkin Industries. He is the host of the podcast, Revisionist History. His podcasts began in 2016 and has aired 4 successful seasons since.

He is also involved in a music podcast, Broken Record, which is in its 2nd season currently. Here, he interviews musicians.
Accessory To Success
Accessory To Success


Leave a comment


Also in Books

Venture Deals Book Summary (Learn About Venture Capital)
Venture Deals Book Summary (Learn About Venture Capital)

by Accessory To Success December 11, 2021

To land the funding, business owners should fully understand how the venture capital industry operates and how term sheets are used to assess valuation and governance. Startup founders will only get funding through careful selection of a venture capitalist that is a good fit, excellent preparation of a presentation and negotiations leading to mutual agreement on the company’s future valuation and the number of startup shares the investor gets.
Read More
Fooled by Randomness Book Summary
Fooled by Randomness Book Summary

by Accessory To Success December 05, 2021

People look at the past and assume it predicts the future, yet it does not. Past events, like current ones, were influenced by randomness or luck, and they are stripped of the daily noise that influenced decisions and events at the time. Life is nonlinear which leads to chance events, so luck plays a big role. When considering a past event in politics, investments and business, look at the costs of the alternative rather than the outcomes.
Read More
Alchemy Book Summary: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
Alchemy Book Summary: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life

by Accessory To Success December 03, 2021

A great deal of customer behavior remains a mystery even in a world built on economic models and logical methodology. In Rory Sutherland’s Alchemy, you will see how to apply creative thinking to explain seemingly inexplicable behavior and also learn that some behavior is more obvious than you thought.
Read More