Outlier The Story Of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell

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Luck is often not accounted for

What is the recipe for success? This book makes it clear that it takes far more luck to be in the right place at the right time with the right skills and the will to work much harder than the average. E.g. Bill Gates had access to computers for free at his school due to a bug they could exploit. This bug and the fact that his school was one of the first to have computers gave him the chance to learn so much about programming and have his 10k+ h at a very young age.

Formula for Success

Success = Luck x Hard Work x Savviness

The components of Luck

Overall your luck consists of:

  • Family and money
  • Place & Time
  • Randomly getting to know people
  • Taking chances

The connection of actions and results is unclear

Also right now you have no idea if an action was good or bad, because can only evaluate outcomes in the future. E.g. many companies were only founded because the founders didn’t get a job.

Your background has a strong influence

Besides that, the family background and how you were brought up is a big part. Children who have been raised by parents who have strongly interfered in their leisure time planning, i.e. who have encouraged the children to do sports or music lessons, may lead to more dependent children and are exposed to many more situations. In order to learn to ask for what you want, you need an environment where your opinion is asked and appreciated.

You need intelligence and social capabilities

In terms of intelligence, IQ and success correlate only up to an IQ of 120. A higher IQ value than 120 does not relate to your success anymore. You just have to be smart enough. Besides pure analytical intelligence practical intelligence is crucial, i.e. to understand how to get what you want and how to deal with people.

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