Malcolm Gladwell - Outliers: The Story of Success

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Outliers - A Great Story of Statistics

Sep 6, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Great story and analysis. Simply stunning!

Cons:None

The Bottom Line: Great read for anyone at any time!


About The Book
I have always been a great fan of statistical studies. There is something so absolute about extensive research being properly framed by a great author to prove a point. In Outliers, Gladwell reaffirms that he is a master of his craft in taking a number of seemingly unrelated statistical studies and coincidences, and frames them with some excellent prose to tell a great story about the hard work and coincidences that have led to success over the years.

The thing that sets Gladwell apart in Outliers is the ability to highlight modern day examples and blend them together with larger "case studies" to paint a picture that is both informative and interesting. In one chapter, some of the coincidences that let to the success of modern technology pioneers (Bill Gates, among others) is profiled, but a decades long study of California IQ tests is also discussed at length. This gives weight to Gladwell's arguments; these shining examples are simply small subsets of the pattern he is introducing.

Outliers really takes it to the top with the chronology Gladwell uses to present his data. He introduces concepts with examples, such as the "10,000 hour rule" (it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be truly great at something), with plenty of examples. He then progresses on to discuss the unusual circumstances that led to famous success stories meeting this rule. He then draws a conclusion by profiling similar success stories and finding the common thread. Truly fascinating.

Overall
One of the best authors out there for statistical analysis, Gladwell doesn't disappoint with his latest work. A great study, and many great stories.

Rating
10 out of 10


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