The subjects for his articles, usually non-fiction, range from " Ron Popeil 's infomercial empire to computers that analyze pop songs".
Chapter 3 Themes and Colors Key LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Outliers, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Gladwell opens this chapter with the story of the famous computer scientist Bill Joy.
The Mainframe filled almost an entire room, and of the thousands of students who passed through this room, perhaps the most famous of all was Joy.
He entered school contemplating a major in either biology or mathematics, but he stumbled across the computing center late in his freshman year and was hooked.
Chapter 2 opens the same way as Chapter 1—with a success story. Active Themes Joy eventually enrolled in graduate school at UC Berkeley, where he stunned his PhD examiners with his intellectual dexterity and brilliance. He went on to rewrite UNIX, a popular operating system, and his edits remain in effect today.
He also rewrote Java, another computer language, and his legendary status grew. He was judged solely on his talent, and he won, because he was one of the best.
Gladwell concedes that innate talent exists, and that Joy probably had buckets of it. But, he argues, innate talent will never become expertise without practice—lots of practice.
He refers to studies that examined the practicing habits of expert and amateur musicians and chess players. These studies found that no expert rose to the top without practice, and no amateur failed in spite of many hours of practice.
The more capable individuals were always the individuals who practiced the most. We know intuitively that successful athletes and chess players and violinists have worked hard and practiced a lot. But we rarely think of success as wholly dependent on having the opportunity and means to practice—Gladwell aims to uncover these often overlooked factors that contribute to success.
He had been composing concertos for ten years by this time. Only extraordinary opportunity gives a person the ability to become an expert.
Gladwell employs research to back up his arguments because his claim that success derives in part from an extreme number of dedicated hours of practice flies in the face of the traditional concept of success: Gladwell returns to his discussion of Bill Joy.
Just before Bill Joy enrolled at Michigan, programming was done with punch cards which had to be fed by an operator into the computer. It was such a tedious process, it was nearly impossible to become an expert.
Coders spent too much time doing menial, mechanical tasks, and not enough time coding. Multiple people could connect to one computer with a Teletype and give commands in a program and receive feedback.
Suddenly, coding had become a skill one could truly practice. And Michigan, where Joy went to school, was one of the first universities to switch over to time-sharing.
It turns out that if Bill Joy had gone to school before the time sharing revolution had taken place, it would have been impossible for him to put in the hours of practice required to become a computer programming expert.
This is a deeply compelling argument for the importance of timing when it comes to success. He had never even thought about doing any kind of work in computing when he enrolled there.
By happy accident, Joy found himself at one of the only places in the world where a seventeen year old could program all he wanted. He neglected his coursework and spent most of every night in the lab. After he happens to stumble across a time-sharing computer system, he figures out that he can finagle a way to work without having to pay for time—otherwise the cost of 10, hours of work would have been prohibitive.
His schedule allows him to spend successive nights in the lab.
All of this led to a rapid accumulation of hours of practice, which, in turn, helped enable his success. Gladwell wonders if the ten thousand hour rule applies across cultures and disciplines.
He decides to take two very famous examples: Inthe Beatles were invited to play in Hamburg, Germany. The Beatles were seen performing by a club owner, who asked them to come play in Hamburg. What made this experience exceptional was the sheer length of time the bands were expected to play: By the time the Beatles began having major success inthey had played live performances approximately twelve hundred times more than most bands today ever play live in their lifetimes.
But, as Gladwell points out, their stint in these clubs was actually an extraordinary opportunity for practice.
As with so many other outliers, chance opportunity and thousands of hours of practice set the Beatles apart and put them on a course to achieve tremendous success.
Gladwell turns to the life and career of Bill Gates. Bill Gates, a mere 8th grader inhad a highly unusual opportunity.Based on research suggesting that practice is the essence of genius, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea that 10, hours of appropriately guided practice was “the magic number of greatness,” regardless of a person’s natural aptitude.
Gladwell wonders if the ten thousand hour rule applies across cultures and disciplines. He decides to take two (very famous) examples: the Beatles, one of the most popular rock bands of all-time, and Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men.
People are jumping ship from the 10,hour rule, including prominent economist Peter Orszag over at Bloomberg News and former professional cyclist Richard Moore for The Guardian.
BusinessInsider went so far as to write that Epstein's book "destroys" Gladwell's favored theory. The "10, hour rule" in Outliers specifically contends that it takes about 10k hours of deliberate practice (meaning practice that consistently pushes and challenges you) to achieve mastery over anything.
Complexity and the Ten-Thousand-Hour Rule. By Malcolm Gladwell. —the amount of practice necessary for exceptional performance is so extensive that people who end up on top need help. They. Plenty of other circumstances factor into success but it’s worth taking a closer look at what the 10, hour rule means for today’s kids.
The news is good. Those who are homeschooling or attending democratic schools benefit enormously from the 10, hour rule, although not in ways you might expect.