I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, called Outliers.

I recommend it.

Just like his previous two books (The Tipping Point & Blink) it’s full of great stories that will make you think a lot.  

For example:

  • Why are so many great sports people born in the first half of the year (more than half of the 45 All Blacks this year were born in January, February, March or April)?
  • Why are Asians generally better at maths?
  • Why is a pilot with a greater respect of authority more likely to have an accident?
  • What do The Beatles and Bill Gates have in common?

There is also a great section about the importance of meaningful work.  

He defines this as having:

  • Autonomy – i.e. you are your own boss
  • Complexity – i.e. you find the work engaging
  • A connection between effort and reward

Which of those criteria are you getting from your current job?

You can get a taste of all of this from his presentation from the Pop!Tech conference held earlier this year.

If you’re struggling to find a good gift this Christmas, you could do a lot worse than one of his books.

The Story of SuccessThe Power of Thinking Without ThinkingHow Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

And, for those of you who have already read the book, a question to think about – what have you spent 10,000 hours working at?

PS Garr Reynolds beat me to this post by about 12 hours and has lots of links to other Malcolm Gladwell presentations if you’re interested.

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4 thoughts on “Outliers”

  1. @Tim

    Since I wrote this post “Outliers” has come onto the 24 Hour Shipping list at Fishpond too.

    Their current price is $37.65. The same book on Mighty Ape is $46.99 (also same day shipping).

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