I talked a bit about Malcolm Gladwell in a recent post. I would like to introduce him to you a bit more fully.


Malcolm is a reporter with an incredible mind. In his book Outliers he traced the lives of people who most of us consider geniuses in their field. People like Bill Gates, Robert Oppenheimer, and the Beatles. He has a few conclusions, the first and most quoted (as far as I know) is that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a virtuoso. It does not matter it if it is Tiger Woods playing Golf, Yo-Yo Ma on the Cello, or Bill Gates with computers. This is sort of the quantified - practice makes perfect - argument.

More interesting to me at least is his assertion that the month you were born make make a huge difference in the outcome of your life. By making the month you were born the primay factor in when a child starts school, you are basicly grouping kids together that are almost a year apart. The kids who start late (as in 10 months older than others that are starting) seem more intelligent, stronger, more athletic and generally more advanced...they are, they are older. The fact is, at that age ( say 6 - 14), being a year older is an advantage in these categories. These kids are not advanced at all, again they are just older.

The affect of this is that the older kids are singled out as superior, given special treatment, more confidence and extended training. The end result of this is that they do end up being Superior but because of nurture not nature. He has an interesting example of children's hockey leagues in Canada

For a better explanation than I could give, listen to the RadioLab interview (if you are not listening to this podcast already you should give it a try.....it will rock your world). http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blog/2010/jul/26/secrets-of-success/

Or better yet read his book outliers you will not be sorry.

Please let me know what you think of these Gblog post (should I continue to call them Gblogs), and please tell your freinds :-)
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