It’s All About the Drive in Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Decent Essays
In the second chapter of his book “Outliers: The Story of Success,” Malcolm Gladwell introduces what he believes to be a key ingredient in the recipe for success: practice. The number of hours he says one must practice to obtain expert-level proficiency in a particular skill is ten thousand hours. He goes on to list several examples of successful individuals and makes the correlation between the amount of hours they practiced their skill and when they achieved expert-level proficiency (almost always around ten thousand hours of practice). While the magic number appears to be the main focus of the chapter when it comes to success, Gladwell seems to put more emphasis on the advantage and opportunities each individual experienced. However, I…show more content…
The hours to those facilities were limited, but Joy exploited a bug that would allow him to work more than the typical one hour per day that all students were afforded. The bug may be seen as another opportunity. However, weren’t other students at that school able to access the same facilities? Couldn’t they also have exploited the same bug that Joy exploited? I believe it was Joy’s passion for programming and desire to improve that led him to put in more hours than everyone else. “He wanted to learn” (46). He worked long hours and even devised a way to keep at it when others couldn’t or wouldn’t.
Gladwell uses The Beatles as another example where happenstance was a deciding factor in their success. It was luck, or maybe fate, that put The Beatles in contact with a club owner in Hamburg, Germany. The club owner’s format required bands to play extremely long hours. Gladwell makes it seem as if the band would not have put in the long hours and potentially would not have become the rock ‘n’ roll legends they are today had it not been for that streak of luck. Other bands played those same clubs in Hamburg. Could they not have also played eight hours a night, seven nights a week? They had the same opportunity as The Beatles.
Gladwell’s last example of opportunity paving the way to success is Bill Gates. Gladwell paints a picture of a privileged childhood, private schools, well-funded computer clubs and easily accessible
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