Gladwell published back in 2000 The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference which was a surprising (well, to me it was a surprise, only because I didn't think the subject had wide appeal) best-seller.
I had read articles by him in the New Yorker so I knew he had a following, but the book really made him a popular culture figure too.
His second book was Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking which I also read and enjoyed.
So, the release now of Outliers: The Story of Success is "anticipated" by a good number of readers including myself.
The new book "reveals" what we all want to know: how to become the next Bill Gates. Well, maybe... He says that his inspiration for the new book came from the question "Is it a fair assessment to say that highly successful people deserve all the credit for their achievement?"
"I started with the lawyers chapter [Chapter 5], which looks at a group of people who have reached the very pinnacle of their profession. They were the first to tell me about all the extraordinary opportunities that came their way—that was very instructive and humbling. There was none of the self-serving clapping themselves on the back. The fact that they were discriminated against turned into their greatest opportunity. I interviewed one of the most powerful lawyers in the world and he told me, "At the time, it was the worst thing in the world not to be able to get a job at a fancy law firm, but it's the greatest thing that ever happened in my life." It was a humble acknowledgment of how forces much larger than himself shaped his career. I really wanted to bring that point home."
I had read another blog post about the chapter concerning "10,000 hours." Gladwell's theory is that you will only reach a level of mastery if you are willing to devote essentially 10 years to a particular discipline.
There's nothing special about when you devote those 10 years. Those 10 years can be between the ages of 40 and 50, or 60 and 70. It just so happens that many of us who achieve great things put in those 10 years early in life, but there's nothing special about youth. Youth is not necessary for the process; what's necessary is time and honest effort, which is heartening.Heartening indeed... I guess I still have time.