Outliers: A Review by Tian Yu

OutliersCoverHard work and determination bring success, that’s the way of the American Dream. It was common knowledge that no matter where you were in society, the harder you worked, the better your reward would be. But what if it’s not all about working hard, and that the environment, time and place that someone was born into has an equal, if not greater effect? Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, investigates the patterns that result in some of the most successful people of our time, from famous businessmen to computer programmers to lawyers, and uncovers some other factors in success that come into play time and time again, and how this could help you personally succeed.


Outliers talks about the factors of success that are often outside of your control. Using easy to understand examples, data correlation and third party studies, Gladwell proves a multitude of independent factors that work together in many well-known success stories. For example, the year of birth is very important for people in certain fields such as computer programmers or entrepreneurs, since certain years of birth allowed people to capitalize on major changes, innovations or events. Outliers sets itself apart from other books in its genre by the way it presents information in an easy to access and relatable way. By using a wide variety of examples, from well-known idols to simple everyday situations, Gladwell shows how what he’s talking about can apply in a wide variety of subjects, as well as giving examples that could be easily followed.


Overall, I would definitely recommend Outliers to readers of any age. It’s often easy to get caught up in the notion that hard work always leads to success, and become frustrated when that doesn’t always turn out to be true. Hard work and focus are the cornerstones of every successful person but often other factors come into play as well, and it’s important to understand what they are. Outliers teaches us to not only work hard, but also to understand these external factors and use them to our advantage.


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