The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell

Estimated Reading Time

Summary 55 minutes
Full Book 4:35 hours
You Save 3:40 hours

Outliers reveals surprising insights on how people become successful. Most books on success focus on individual intelligence, talent and work ethic. Outliers, by contrast, examines factors that are often overlooked, including:

  1. Hidden and arbitrary advantages
  2. The influence of parents and communities
  3. Extraordinary opportunities provided by luck
  4. Cultural legacies that help or hinder success

In this summary:

  • Introduction - The Roseto Mystery: Looking beyond the individual.
  • Chapter 1 - The Matthew Effect: Relative age and accumulated advantage.
  • Chapter 2 - The 10,000-Hour Rule: Why practice is more important than talent.
  • Chapter 3 - The Trouble with Geniuses, Part 1: IQ tests, intelligence thresholds, and divergent vs. convergent thinking.
  • Chapter 4 - The Trouble with Geniuses, Part 2: Practical intelligence and concerted cultivation.
  • Chapter 5 - The Three Lessons of Joe Flom: Demographic luck and meaningful work.
  • Chapter 6 - Harlan, Kentucky: The persistence of cultural legacies.
  • Chapter 7 - The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes: Power distance and mitigated speech.
  • Chapter 8 - Rice Paddies and Math Tests: The importance of language and perseverance in math.
  • Chapter 9 - Marita’s Bargain: KIPP and the problem with summer vacation.
  • Epilogue - A Jamaican Story: Gladwell’s own outlier story.