Sunday, December 27, 2009

Outliers: Book Review

I've always been interested in why people turn out the way they do and how some people succeed in this world while others do not.

Outliers is the first book in a long time that's made me rethink what I learned while studying psychology at university and think about the reasons why certain things occur.

Is Bill Gates a success story because he's smart? hardworking? in the right place at the right time? born in a certain time period?

The author tries to minimize rags to riches stories and suggests that successful people are where they are because they had the right opportunities at exactly the right time.

Is it purely a coincidence that two-thirds of Canada's pro hockey players were born in January or February?

Should children born in December be kept back from starting school, as they will have the same expectations as children who are potentially 11-12 months older? Do December babies ever catch up?

These are a few of the topics discussed in the book. Is the author one-sided? Yes. But he got me thinking, and that's the important thing! I'd recommend this book for anyone who's interested in analyzing human behaviour. 4/5 Stars!


  1. I've heard about this book. I haven't read it but off the top I have to agree with the author. It takes a combination of alot of things for anyone to have success. Just as the hockey players born in January and February can tell you, it took more than that to get them where they are. It took dedication - it took money and it took the most vital ingredient - something I call sticktoitiveness.

    In other words - winners never quit and quitters never win. The world is full of people with talent and ideas but they lack the sticktoitiveness to succeed.

    The idea that things happen because it was fate, or it was meant to be, just make no sense to me.

    Think I'll pick up that book :)

  2. Should children born in December be kept back from starting school? I think not.... I don't think either you or Chad were ever behind anyone in your classes at school. Did you ever feel that you were behind?

  3. It depends on the child whether starting school when a child is still 3 is a good idea. And since kindergarten is completely optional, I'm sure some parents do hold their kids back. Some 3 year olds are still babies.

    Speaking as the mother of a January baby though, I would have started her in school a year earlier if I could have. Having to wait till she was almost 5 to start kindergarten wasn't beneficial at all.