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Reddit reviews on Outliers: The Story of Success

Sentiment score: 26
Reddit mentions: 50

We found 50 Reddit mentions of Outliers: The Story of Success. Here are the top ones.

Great product!

Found 50 comments on Outliers: The Story of Success:

u/Weed_O_Whirler · 17 pointsr/askscience

First things first: Do not necessarily discount something just because it appears to be silly. For instance, professional hockey players in Canada are 5x more likely to be born between Jan-March than Oct-Dec. Sounds stupid- why would birth month have anything to do with hockey skills? (We'll come back to this)

Second: This "correlation does not imply causation" phrase gets tossed around a lot, and it is def true, but let's look at it. First, correlation can be very useful even if causation is not present. For instance, talking on a cell phone while driving is correlated with dying in car accidents. But cell phone use does not cause dying in accidents (rapid deceleration causes death). So, if there truly was correlation between Mars being in a certain part of the sky and athletic ability, well, that would still be good information to have. Even if Mars didn't cause the athletic ability. However, so many things have happened throughout history at the same time as other things, that it is easy to find correlation between completely unrelated events. However, that correlation is easy to test- does it actually have predictive power? It is very possible that looking at the history of athletes that Mars was in a certain spot in the sky when they were born- but that is only impressive if it can predict that in the future more athletes will be born when the Mars is there.

Third: When linking these seemingly unrelated events you need a model of sorts. Sure, QM and psychology use statistics in their formulations, but then they develop models that explain the statistics. Looking back up to point 1, which is discussed in depth in this book is that skill in hockey and month born are not naturally related, but their is a model for the correlation. The age cut-off for when you are in a league is December 31st in Canada. So that means that someone born Jan 1 is an entire year older than someone on his same team born Dec 31st. And while a year difference by the time you're an adult doesn't really matter, it matters a lot when you are five and six years old. So, the older (born on January 1) kids are the best players on the team, so they get more playing time, and then they get selected to play on the travel team, so they get more playing time, better coaches, etc- and this advantage is built in through their whole childhood.

That's why the hockey birth month thing is believable. He found an odd coincidence with historical data, developed a model that explains why, and then uses his model to predict future results. What happens with things like the Mars effect is that an odd coincidence is noticed- no model is formed, and then every time someone happens to fit the coincidence it us used to reinforce that people born when Mars is somewhere in the sky they become athletes, and people who aren't are discarded. And that is exactly what happened according to the wikipedia article. An odd coincidence was found in historical data, but it offered no real predictive power. And instead, selection bias was used to show that it predicted future events.

This actually has a name, called poisson grouping, which is that randomly distributed data should have groups crop up. A time this happened was in WW2 when Germany was lobbing mortar shells at Britain. They looked at the data, and found groupings of shells, which made them think the Germans thought high valued targets were there. But really, the Germans were just shooting randomly, and by statistics, they happened to group up in places.

Sorry, I'm sure that was a much longer answer than you were expecting, but I hope it helps you understand these sort of scenarios.

u/[deleted] · 9 pointsr/politics

>It sucks to say this, but if you're smart and work hard, you SHOULD get paid more.

Why does it suck? That's the very essence of a meritocracy, a system we obviously don't have.

Basically what you just posted is a stereotype. I've known far to many well off people to believe that even large minority "sacrificed their youth" and I've known far too many unemployed people to believe they are just lazy. What you are offering are convenient answers to a serious flaw in our economy.

With how popular this book was, it seems nobody read it:


u/Ledatru · 7 pointsr/TrueReddit

In Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, he explains that a high IQ often does not translate into worldly success because greatness is based on a lot of luck.

They did a study where they followed around a bunch of exceptionally intelligent people, people who had IQs high enough to be considered geniuses. They were, in fact, outliers in terms of IQ.

But what did they discover? They found that most of them led average to above-average lives. These geniuses weren't bums by any means, but they weren't great either. They probably led ordinary lives making around $80,000/year or something.

Why? Why were these people with exceptionally high IQs enjoying the same success as people with normal IQs?

It's because of luck. Things didn't luck out for them. There are so many factors you can't control.

u/Tyaedalis · 7 pointsr/reddit.com

The fact that the people starting these companies were able to flourish is because of the environment they lived in. They were presented with amazing opportunities in the places/time they lived. All the major Silicon Valley companies were started by people born around 1955, which was the perfect time since personal computers were coming out around the time all of those people were adults. Not to say they didn't also work very hard, but it would not have been possible if they were born sooner or later by a few years. There's a book called Outliers: the Story of Success that goes into great detail on why these people (and others) were able to do so amazingly well. A good read.

u/rocks95 · 6 pointsr/GetStudying

Yeah, it's really liberating to know that you can do anything you set your mind to... And that it's ok not to know your passion immediately!

My favorite books on this topic:

So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

For online business, I love these peoples' sites:

u/zoomzoomz · 6 pointsr/business

Here is a book you might find interesting. Outliers

Read through some of the reviews and you get a pretty good sense of what the book is about.

I really enjoyed this book and it's definitely thought-provoking.

u/jimbs · 5 pointsr/reddit.com

Also take a look at Outliers No one succeeds just because they are smart. You also need to have opportunity and the family or social support to persue those opportunities.

u/FredFuzzypants · 5 pointsr/politics

You might enjoy the book Outliers by Malcolm Gadwell. In it, he talks about how we "pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from - their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing."

u/candidate_master · 5 pointsr/chess

> I'll be writing about the Turk machine, Deep Blue, the more recent AIs like stockfish.

Ugh, this sounds like a tedious historical rehash.

> I was wondering if chess has become too dependent on technology

Nope. I'd say that every industry depends on computers: legal, medical, manufacturing, whatever.

> and less about talent.

Talent together with hard work are essential for success, in every industry.

Outliers: The Story of Success: the famous theory of 10,000 hours.

Talent is Overrated: those 10,000 hours must well-focused, and environmental factors are key.

Can a normal person become a titled player, even a GM?: Talent x Work = Ability.

u/FoolsRun · 5 pointsr/politics

Check out "Outliers" when you have the time. There's also a very good audiobook version of it.

In one section of the book he discusses exactly what you've said about luck, explaining that, among other things, success is largely related to being in the right place at the right time, and being given an opportunity to work hard at something you love. Bill Gates and Paul Allen were given this opportunity at Lakeside prep school.

u/MoonPoint · 5 pointsr/reddit.com

I'm wondering what this child will be doing 20 years from now. In Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers: The Story of Success, he posits the idea that while many people attribute success in art, mustic, science, sports, etc. to natural talent or genius, in reality it is usually due to an enormous amount of time devoted to a particular activity from an early age.

Gladwell says most people accrue about 10,000 hours of practice honing their talent before they reach the "superstar" level in their field. For example, before the Beatles received worldwide recognition, they spent two years in Germany playing long hours each day (8 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a good chunk of the year). Mozart started practicing many hours at a very young age.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, spent hours and hours programming (20 to 30 hours a week) as a yong boy, skipping athletics and even sneaking out at night to get in computer time.

So, I wonder what this boy's life will be like 20 years from now, if he continues to practice and better his abilities. I.e., if he maintains his love for music, what level will he be at after 10,000 hours of practice.

u/marcusesses · 3 pointsr/Neuropsychology

Yes, I am most definitely down with that.

I'm also not sure how books would be discussed either. I usually have a hard time critiquing neuropsychology-type books since I am not really qualified to determine whether the results are based on sound methodology.

Perhaps if it was like a seminar, where we all pick a book to read, and start an open thread where people can post opinions and questions and we can all try to answer them or post relevant hard science (or other) related articles.

I'm not sure about the logistics, but maybe post an announcement for the book, then give people 2 weeks or whatever to read it, then start another thread for discussion? (Or, even better...write the current book-club selection in the side-bar)...and put a common title on all discussion threads so they are easily searchable.

Here are my suggestions for books (suggested mostly because I own them already):

How We Decide - Jonah Lehrer

The Talent Code - Daniel Coyle

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (not really neuropsych, but has some neuropsychy ideas)

Why Don't Students Like School - Daniel Willingham (you convinced me to buy this book a couple weeks ago, and I'd love to discuss it more. I might write a review over at the subreddit I moderate [/shameless plug]).

EDIT: Maybe you could cross-post it as a "course" at the University of Reddit for more exposure? "Introduction to Popular Psychology" or something...

u/LauraK9 · 3 pointsr/AmISexy

That will come with time! I suggest reading some books that will help you on self-improvement:

The Tipping Point and The Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

u/iamtotalcrap · 2 pointsr/atheism

My favorites... the first two are not even talking about religion, but simply pure science and fascinating.... the second starts off about UFOs but then goes into being critical of religion (while barely... it's sagan after all, it's enough to turn off a non-questioning christian).




Beyond that, all of Malcom Gladwell's stuff is interesting and about science/sociology so it's a great read and a lot of is down to earth and so will pick at the fundamentalist belief some... eg:


u/mmm_burrito · 2 pointsr/books

Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World

Honestly, it will shock you how that little yellow fruit has shaped world history.

Also, Outliers

u/veldurak · 2 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

You seem to ignore the fact that the capitalist literally does nothing. You act as though he runs the company - managers run the company, which he hires. All the capitalist does is risk money and hire workers. From the lowest grunt to the managers to the CEO, all of these are considered as workers. Have you ever seen the show Shark Tank? Those are capitalists. All they do is throw money at businesses and take a cut of 15%-40% of the company's profits.

>The anarcho-capitalist society would not fetish risk.

How? It's impossible for there to be capitalists without this.

>The average laborer cannot be asked to manage a powerplant.The average laborer cannot be asked to manage a powerplant.

Nor does the average capitalist.
>if the society 200 years ago had become completely communist, would it be as technologically advanced and as great living conditions

I believe capitalism is very good at what it claims to do - be efficient. But at what cost? Workers being treated better with a slower rate of technologic advancement is a worthy tradeoff. Remember though that socialism is only possible after capitalism has already created the productive capacities to provide for everyone. This was not the case 200 years ago. Do I feel like technology wouldn't advance under a socialist society? No. Why wouldn't it?

>where "poor" people often have access to TV and other recently extremely rare commodities?

You are making the assumption from a Western prospective, ignoring living conditions in the countries that have been imperialized. You could argue that the US as a whole has become a sort of global bourgeois through it's exploitation of the Third World. From a global prospective, the situation is bunk for the poor. That's besides the fact social services are what provides the quality of life the poor currently have. If conservatives had their way, that wouldn't exist at all.

>If the progress of the USSR and the US are any reason to compare, I'd say that there is almost no improvement in the living conditions of those in the communist society

The USSR was definitely not communist, and never really even socialism. It was state capitalism, which is were the state takes of the worker's surplus value in a similar way that the capitalist does today. I don't understand why AnCaps can understand state exploitation here, but can't understand it when a capitalist does it. A number of historical circumstances pushed the USSR into doing this. I could explain if you need me to.

>he/she might expect to get fired soon.

I'd agree people shouldn't rely solely on their partner. I was talking more about this - sometimes people get laid off without warning and aren't able to get another job. This isn't a matter of them not "working" hard enough, sometimes the economy is just shit. That's how the business cycle works. Whoever says equal opportunty is possible in a capitalist society is a joke. People are shaped by their circumstances, if you were born in Palestine you'd probably be finishing up noon prayer right now. Steve Jobs wouldn't of invented the iPhone if he was broken in a broken family in an inner-city neighborhood. Or if he was born 1000 years ago, for that matter. Have you read Outliers? It goes through the lives of several famous people and how they managed to succeed. The most common trend is that they all were in the right place, at the right time. Don't tell me anyone can become a millionarie if they work hard enough, or to pull myself up by my bootstraps.

> The machinery, maintenance, and other fixed/variable costs are necessary and therefore subtracted.

Did the capitalist build these things? Did the capitalist who owns the company who made these things produce them? If you go back to it, the raw materials were probably taken from a Third-World countries by capitalists who bought the land from a government okay with "free trade" (it doesn't particularly matter what type of government to the First World as long as they'll cooperate economically, dictators are pretty chill - but a socialist who might mess something up? Oh no you didn't!) I repeat - a capitalist does nothing besides have money and profit off the labor of others.

> If pay is determined by need, then only the worthless beggars are rewarded; the more worthless the better.

The principle "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" will be implemented only in communism. There would be no money - I'm not sure what you mean by "paid". If you're a contributing member of society, you'll have access to what you require. Similarly, someone physically handicapped would have access to what they needed - sure, they might need a bit more (wheelchair, etc) but would you really want to be handicapped? Your example seems to be confusing socialism and communism together.

>capitalists have been shown to be the largest givers to charity

Capitalists also have the most money, and past a certain point, wealth doesn't increase your quality of life. The difference between 20k and 100k a year is tremendous, but the difference between 1m and 5m is negligible. Why wouldn't they donate it?

u/RottenDeadite · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Read Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. Then put in your 10,000 hours.

In short, the answer you're looking for is: Self discipline. Directed, focused, voluntary obsession. Never stop networking, making contacts, being available. Protect your brand and your image. Above and beyond all these: understand that nothing worth doing is easy. Being a flash in the pan is luck. Being truly successful is incredibly hard.

Also Heaven forbid you maybe go to college?

u/Jurynelson · 2 pointsr/tipofmytongue

Welp, There's Outliers.

It's not a science pub, but it is about that very concept.

u/tads · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Let me try to get you started

First off, let's start with some Seth Godin, dude's got some stuff figured out subscribe to his blog, but for right now pick up a copy of The Dip, or better yet read this summary or better yet read the whole thing.

That book is about finding something that you can be best in the world in, so do just that. The world needs you to do something, to be a part of something, that is better than everything else. There is too much mediocrity, too much good enough, you need to shoot for great. So yeah, start today.

When you have decided what you are going to be the best in the world at, get a copy of Do The Work. This book will basically walk you through your whatever it is (novel, event, business plan, etc.). The big thought here is that once you start you're going to hit a thing called resistance. Resistance is what is going to pull you back down to normalcy whenever you try to do something great. Expect it, respect it, but don't let it stop you.

If you want more stuff to read check out the Art of Non-Conformity and the Guide to World Domination. Outliers is good for understanding how much failure accompanies success.

u/alexthesock · 2 pointsr/LetsTalkMusic

The book Outliers explains instances like this really well.

u/Danthony05 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Made, definitely. In Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, he states that there is a 10,000 hour threshold to be considered an expert at something.

If you've never heard of it, I would recommend reading it. Very interesting and easy to read.

u/gnotoskale · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

If you're seriously interested in this topic, read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

u/Scott_MacGregor · 2 pointsr/Economics

No it's not, IQ is an explainer of success only up to about 120, thereafter, the marginal benefit of additional IQ points is negligible. I highly recommend Malcom Gladwell's Outliers for more on this phenomenon, or if not at least check out the life of Christopher Langan.

u/wockyman · 2 pointsr/pics

>People attribute their greatness too much to their own success, not the world around them.

In case you haven't read it already, Outliers is entirely about this.

u/RedditBlackMan · 2 pointsr/politics

Sounds like you've either read the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell or you should, because you'd probably enjoy it.

u/mikelowski · 1 pointr/comics

According to Malcolm Gladwell, in a more scientific approach, mastering it isn't 7 years but 10 years (10.000 hours).

u/goten100 · 1 pointr/guitarlessons

You got that from Malcom Gladwell's "Outliers: The Story of Success"! It was in reference to the Beatles.

u/liquidpele · 1 pointr/atheism

> "God gave us boundaries to protect us, and what seems to be happening here is that elites are telling kids that they can be anything, and kids are practicing all sorts of behaviors and they think that there’s basically no absolute morality anymore."

This is a big difference between Poor and Middle/Upper class actually. It's discussed in the book I"m reading right now called outliers... Basically, Poor kids are left to develop mostly on their own, while middle/upper class get concerted cultivation from their parents.

I've also read from a study (though I can't find it now) that kids who are taught that success/intelligence comes from hard work turn out much better than those who are taught that it is innate ability, which makes sense in hindsight.

u/maaark · 1 pointr/geek

Don't nerds read? In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell supplies plenty of evidence for the view that it takes about 10,000 hours to master almost anything that requires skill. Innate ability just needs to be adeqeuate, not world-beating. Then it's all about getting your sorry ass to work. Full time. Five years. You might not be Clapton when you're done, but you'll be better than 99.9% of all the so-called guitar players in the world.

u/IronShins · 1 pointr/videos

If you want to read a whole book about how 'haydiddy' is right here it is.

Its a damn good read, touches on other interesting topics like mastery that are very interesting.

u/joshvanderkroft · 1 pointr/AskReddit

hold it back. big developmental advantage. read this. Not a perfect book, but strongly outlines the reasons why kids who are older compared to their peers do better in life.

u/Marchosias · 1 pointr/GetMotivated

Though, honestly, some people will do well their entire lives.

Actually, those born into upper middle class and wealthy families have a higher chance to continue being upper middle class and wealthy by a wide margin. The thing is, it's because their parents teach them to be entitled.

Reading Outliers would do a lot of people a lot of good.

u/movingmyeye · 1 pointr/GetMotivated

I appreciate this but what about rarities such as Mozart.
Mozart wrote his first symphony when he was eight years old.
Isn't it true that some people just have a "knack" for it.

I often like hearing the stories of the rise of people like that.
While I haven't read this book, I have it in my list and is related: Outliers: The Story of Success

u/MostCriticalGuy · 1 pointr/IAmA

That is a title of a great book by the way.

u/CM_Secondary_Account · 1 pointr/IAmA

He is featured in the book "Outliers: The Story of Success." The author discusses some of the factors that probably played into his non-success.


u/bigger_than_jesus · 1 pointr/IAmA

Have you read Outliers? I think you'll find you're not alone.

u/adfectio · 1 pointr/AskReddit

There's actually a whole book about this here

I haven't read it, but from what I gather, the author asserts that it's about the amount of time you spend at something moreso than actual ability.

If that's the case, than yeah, we can blame it on society. We love instant gratification, and can't stand things that we have to work for. If something doesn't come naturally to us, we tend to give up on it fairly quickly.

This is all generalized, of course.

u/TheRainbowConnection · 1 pointr/askscience

I read this in Outliers, so it may not be scientific, but: You need to practice 10,000 hours (20 hrs/week for 10 years). Anyone who does that can be really good.

u/lax13 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

You should read the book Outliers . It talks about talent being the product of hours of practice. What differentiates between people of different skill levels is their initial talent, and the amount of hours of practice they put into it.

u/shaggy1054 · 1 pointr/pics

>Luck may play a part, but talent and will is what made him a billionaire, and the fact that he was a successful CEO of multiple companies is proof of that

Here's an okay book on the subject: http://www.amazon.com/Outliers-Story-Success-Malcolm-Gladwell/dp/0316017922

Basically, you need hard work + genetic ability + luck to "succeed." Two of those factors are outside of anyone's control, and you can make an argument that the third (hard work) is outside of your control as well; you don't choose who your parents/peers/community are, and so you can't choose the values that you're socialized into having.

>The goal of religion is to gain members.

As a social "meme," maybe, but for the vast majority of religious adherents/clergy-people, the goal of participation in religion is to live a good life and benefit others. But yes, this particular point is a digression.

>Plus, I don't like the negative tone of the comments posted here. He was a businessmen man that few people knew personally, not Gaddafi.

That's cool, just know that shame as a social mechanism for normalizing behavior is something that's as old as human society itself. It's as vital a part of human society (as it's currently configured) as anything else.

u/osaka_nanmin · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

It's hard to judge your progress because you didn't mention how many hours (in class study + outside study) you've done in 4+ years. With all due respect, "years of study" in my experience has very little meaning. "Hours of study" is a lot more realistic way to measure yourself. Malcolm Gladwell talks about it in his book Outliers, and I think it certainly applies to learning Japanese.

u/storyofitall · 0 pointsr/IAmA

I don't think he said that he "worked himself into a higher tax bracket". Some folks get their money from their families. Oh, and read Outliers.