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Outliers The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

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Outliers The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

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  1. OutliersThe Story of SuccessbyMalcolm Gladwell

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  3. Outliers • Outliers are men and women who do things out of the ordinary • To understand why certain people become outliers we must look at factors beyond innate talent. We must also look at: • Where they were reared • When they grew up • The culture they belonged to • The characteristics passed down by their forebears

  4. The Ecology of Organisms • The tallest tree in the forest probably came from a hardy acorn, but other factors also contributed to its height. Such factors as: • No other trees blocked sunlight from getting through to the tree • The soil around the tree was rich in nutrients • No animals chewed through its bark when it was a young tree • No one cut it down before it matured

  5. The Effect of Birth Dates • An analysis of a highly successful Canadian hockey team found: • 40% of the players were born between January and March • 30% were born between April and June • 20% were born between July and September • 10% were born between October and December

  6. The Effect of Birth Dates • In Canada the eligibility cut off for age-class (club) hockey is January 1 • Those players born early in the year are bigger and more mature than those born later in the year • As a consequence, the older players perform better and are picked for advanced placement where they receive better coaching and more playing time

  7. The Effect of Birth Dates • In the U.S., the cutoff for almost all non-school baseball leagues is July 31 • As a result, more major league players are born in August than in any other month

  8. Summary of the Effects of Age • If you make a decision about who is talented and who is not at an early age and • You separate the “talented” from the “untalented” and provide the talented ones with superior experiences • You will give a huge advantage to those born shortly after the cutoff date

  9. The “Matthew Effect” • “For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance. But from him that hath not shall be taken away even which he hath.” • The rich have a natural advantage • The best students get the best teachers and the most attention

  10. Accumulative Advantage • Some people start off a little bit superior to their peers • This initial small difference leads to more opportunities, which makes them more superior, which leads to more opportunities, etc., etc., etc.

  11. Gates’ Advantage • Parents – Wealthy Lawyer/Banker’s daughter • 7th grade - Private School/Computer club • 1968 - Mother’s Club bought computer terminal for mainframe in downtown Seattle • U. Wash – Computer Center Corp. – leased mainframe time (founder’s son @ same school) • ISI – Free time for working on payroll app • TRW – Independent study semester, writing code for Bonneville power station app • Dropped out of Harvard – had 7 years’ programming experience

  12. The 10,000 Hour Rule • The closer psychologists look at the careers of outliers, the less important is innate talent and the more important is preparation • Ten thousand hours is the magic number for expertise in most areas • Before they became famous, the Beatles played eight hours a day, seven days a week in a club in Hamburg

  13. The Effect of Timing • The most important date in the historyof the personal computer revolution isJanuary 1975 when the Altair 8800 was introduced • If you were too old for the personal computer revolution in 1975 you were probably born before 1952 • If you were born after 1959 you were probably too young • Leaders of the personal computer revolution: • Bill Gates – 1955 (Microsoft) • Paul Allen – 1953 (Microsoft #2) • Steve Ballmer – 1956 (Microsoft #24) • Steve Jobs – 1955 (Apple) • Eric Schmidt – 1955 (PARC, Sun (Java), Novell, Google)

  14. The Effect of Parentage • Wealthy parents can afford to give their children opportunities that less wealthy parents cannot • Poor children have an inherent disadvantage in school – a disadvantage that, in fact, widens every year

  15. Academics vs. Socioeconomics • Karl Alexander, Sociologist at Johns Hopkins University • 640 First Graders, Baltimore - 1982 • California Achievement Test (math/reading)

  16. 2x Totals 189 184 Year-End Test Scores 32 73 Progress/Year

  17. Total .26 7.09 52.49 Over Summer Vacation(reading only) Why?

  18. Solution? More School • Average School Year • USA: 180 days • South Korea: 220 • China: 230 • Japan: 243

  19. KIPP Academy • Mid-90’s – Grades 5-8 • @ Lou Gehrig Middle School, South Bronx • 7:25 am – 5 pm, Saturday 9 am – 1 pm • 90 Minutes of English/day • 90 Minutes of Math/day (2 hr/day in 5th grade) • 95% at or above grade level in math • 90% get private HS Scholarships • 86% to college (1st generation for many)

  20. KIPP NYC

  21. In Summary • Success is predictable • It is not the brightest who succeed • Outliers take maximum advantage of the opportunities that are made available to them

  22. OutliersThe Story of SuccessbyMalcolm Gladwell