Notes & Quotes: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Here are my favorite quotes from Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. 
  1. The values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.
  2. It's outlandish that our arbitrary choice of cutoff dates is causing these long-lasting effects, and no one seems to care about them.
  3. We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail.
  4. We cling to the idea that success is a simple function of individual merit and that the world in which we all grow up and the rules we choose to write as a society don't matter at all.
  5. Achievement is talent plus preparation.
  6. The people at the top don't work just harder or even much harder than everyone else.  They work much, much harder.
  7. The magic number for true expertise is 10,000 hours. [of deliberate practice]
  8. "I had a better exposure to software development at a young age that I think anyone did in that period of time, and all because of an incredibly lucky series of events." Bill Gates
  9. These are stories about people who were given a special opportunity to work really hard and seized it.  Their success was not just of their own making.  It was a product of the world in which they grew up.
  10. Practical intelligence includes things like knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for maximum effect.
  11. The wealthier parents raised their kids one way, and the poorer raised their kids another way.
  12. What he was getting in his eighteen hour days was a lesson in the modern economy.  He was learning market research.  He was learning manufacturing.  He was learning how to negotiate.  He was learning how to play himself into popular culture in order to understand new fashion trends.
  13. Autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward are the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.  It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy.  It's whether our work fulfills us.
  14. (re: air travel) The typical accident involves seven consecutive human errors.