I think Malcolm Gladwell is hilarious. I cannot help it. First of all, what a face, right? But in general he’s just a ridiculous man. He’s famous for making up a large portion of the actually popular pop-economics book sector (Blink and The Tipping Point are probably located on your local amateur know-it-all’s bookshelf right next to Freakonomics and Nickel and Dimed). And, awesome. Obviously Gladwell is a unique intellect and his mind operates on a level where he’s able to synthesize all this random phenomena into cute little theories, and all the articles he writes for the New Yorker are quick and palatable, but whatever–the man is ridiculous. In everything he does, he seems able to pluck these algorithmic, universal truths from absolutely nowhere, and he lays down his theories with such common-man elegance that I always end up thinking, what the fuck. If Malcolm Gladwell didn’t exist, would no one have ever done anything with the fact that all successful Canadian hockey players are born in January? Someone needs to write a good Malcolm Gladwell parody, and I only wish I were smart enough to sustain such a thing for longer than a few pages. Like Guerilla or Gorilla: How Misunderstanding is the Key to Understanding Social Deviance, a book in which the first section would start with an anecdote about the sizing regulations for children’s clothing at Target and end with a one-sentence rule telling you how to make your first billion dollars.
But specifically, about Outliers. I will save you the trouble of reading it. Two things: look up Gladwell’s list of the 75 richest people of all time, which could potentially teach a person something but mostly taught me that it would have been awesome to be a robber baron. The other thing to know is the now-fairly-famous 10,000 rule, in which he basically says that if you do something for 10,000 hours, you will be awesome at it. That is essentially why I started this blog. So whatever you love, keep on plugging at it for a couple thousand more hours. Gladwell’s books sell so well that this theory is worth a try, and if you need any more convincing, just look at that face!