Thursday, April 30, 2009

Malcolm Gladwell Outlier

Ok. I finished Malcolm's book, Outler and I was very entertained. He reinforced the fact that to be successful means to work hard and get lucky. To be famously successful involves a lot more that that, but I realize that it is neither predictable, nor probable as Mr. Gladwell artfully omits.

Gladwell is a good storyteller; I have read three of his book (I wonder if he has more). This last one though started off with a bang, but ended with a flub. He really put it into perspective, how lucky one has to be to be fortunate enough to get a chance at being great at something, but he ended with a sad story of our win at any cost culture.

Yes, hard work will get you money and things and if you are lucky, you will have lots of both including many admirers as well. As a small business owner during the bleakest economic time of my life, I need a glimmer of hope. However on my bookshelf I also have another little gem of a book by Paul Strathern, Karl Marx in 90 Minutes.

Gladwell and Marx are diametrically opposite in just about every direction. The ultimate capitalist (Gladwell) and the ultimate anti-capitalist (Marx) make a great couple. Gladwell goes to great length to explain how working 12 hour days every day of the year can bring you riches (unless you happen to be born at the exact wrong time) and it is never too early to start. So work your fingers to the bone and your children, too for success is at hand (it will only take 10,000 hours to get started).

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