I just finished reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell last night. Wow! The sub-title of the book is "The Story of Success," and it really is. This is non-fiction, and talks primarily about how a lot of successful, famous people have a rags-to-riches story and how people often glamorize the Lone Ranger concept of one person succeeding alone. The concept of this book is that no one can be successful alone, and that a lot of seemingly small events compound to create opportunities that aren't obvious alone.
One of my favorite chapters in the book looks at a study comparing successful concert musicians with regular musicians. There was not a single successful musician who made it on ability alone. All of them, EVERY SINGLE ONE, had practiced at least 10,000 hours over around 10 years to get to the professional level. Lesser musicians practiced 2,000 to 3,000 hours over the same time frame.
Gladwell went on with the 10,000 hour rule to look at other people considered head-and-shoulders above others in different fields, e.g. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. All of them had had some kind opportunity which allowed for this type of practice during important parts of their lives. I think the significance of this, particularly for artists, is incredible.
I encourage everyone to read this book. There is so much more than I've mentioned here. I just checked it out from the library, but I'm now seriously considering buying it. I have another of Gladwell's books, The Tipping Point, which I'm looking forward to reading next.
Has anyone else read this or any other book by Malcolm Gladwell? Did you like it? Let me know!