Outliers Summary book summery


What is an outlier? An outlier is someone who does more than the average. They stand out among the crowd. They have reached the pinnacle of success. The outliers are the geniuses and rock stars, athletes, business titans and billionaires around the globe. What is their secret?
We admire those who have succeeded. We are inspired to hear stories about people who have gone from poverty to riches. We want to get to know them. What is their life style? What is their personality like? Do they have any special talents? These are the reasons they have achieved success. But we are missing the bigger picture. 
This book will show us that success is not what we think it should be. It is personal. We believe that people who succeed do it all on their own. They are the ones who have made it possible. 
But is pure talent enough to be a successful artist? What about their upbringing? What about their upbringing? What about the culture and society that they are part of? We will find the answers to these questions by reading the stories of outliers. We will see success from a different perspective. This class will give you a fresh outlook and help you to cultivate the habits of successful people. Many thanks!

Canadian Hockey

Hockey is a very popular Canadian sport. From kindergarten, boys can play hockey. Every school has a hockey league.  How are the best players selected for the national team?   It is evident that the best hockey players were born from January to March. How did this happen??
Here’s the secret. The coaches select the boys who are older than their class. This means that a boy born in December would not be selected to play for the team. This is because the older boy has more maturity. Their bodies will be very different if they have a gap of several months. This happens for boys aged 9-10 years. 
The coach will train boys born before them. They will practice three times as much as the average. The boys will be playing hockey by the time they reach their teens. They will soon be able to play in the major leagues. 
This is also how other sports are selected. The Olympics also values age difference. It is often ignored that children who were born in the later half of the year have great potential. The sport is often discouraged for younger children. Their talents could be developed if they were given the same opportunity. They would also be successful as athletes. 
Because of coincidence, Canada’s national hockey team became an outlier. They are physically and mentally more mature than their counterparts. They have the opportunity to achieve success. It gave rise to many opportunities. 
We give more advantages to those who succeed. They would have more opportunities, which would further elevate their status. Those who fail are dismissed. Individual achievement is what we value so highly. As a society, we overlook the important role that we play when deciding who gets the opportunity. 

10,000 hours:

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”In the 1990s, a group of psychologists conducted a study in the Academy of Music at Berlin. They want to find out how much talent and practice are related to success.  Is it innate talent that makes violinists so talented? Or is it the result of years of practice? 
Psychologists found that students improve their playing ability the more they practice. As children get older, they spend more practice time. The best violinists are 20 years old and have already practiced 10,000 hours. 
The same study was also done on pianists. Amateurs have only practiced for 2,000 hours since childhood. However, professionals have increased their practice hours each year. They had played over 10,000 hours by the age of 20. The psychologists found that there are no “naturals”. There is no musician who achieved greatness by working less hours. 
You must spend 10,000 hours to be world-class in any field. This magic number has been proven by other studies. It takes 10,000 hours for anyone to achieve success, from musicians to athletes to writers to criminal masterminds. Our brain requires 10,000 hours to mastery and expertise. 
However, not everyone can afford 10,000 hours. It is impossible to do it all on your own. You need to have support parents as a child. You will need time to do your own thing as an adult. However, if you are poor and have to work, there won’t be enough time to practice. It is an amazing opportunity to have 10,000 hours. 
Bill Gates is a prime example. Since he was 8 years old, he has been programming. This is a rare opportunity, as it was in 1960s. It was only for the wealthy that computers were available at that time. 
Bill Gates’ father, Bill Gates, is a lawyer. His mother is also from an elite family. They enrolled him at Lakeside High School in Seattle. It was one of only a few schools to have a computer club in 1968. Bill Gates was able practice programming from 8th grade through high school. 
Bill Gates, who left college to create Microsoft, has already worked more than 10,000 hours. He is a brilliant programmer, and an entrepreneur. Bill Gates was able, however, to seize this unique opportunity. As Bill Gates said, “I was very lucky.” 
To be an outlier, one must have that unique opportunity. You need to be given the chance. You need to have extraordinary opportunities to succeed if you have an extraordinary talent.

The Beatles:

“Lift up your heads and look at the image of a man who rose from nothing, who owed nothing to parentage or patronage…” That is what Robert Winthrop said when he unveiled the statue of Benjamin Franklin. But can outliers really rise from the ashes? 
Autobiographies about successful people are our obsession. They all come from humble backgrounds. They conquered every obstacle and achieved success. They did it using their own unique talents. What we don’t see is that great leaders like Franklin are beneficiaries of opportunities and advantages. 
Outliers owe their success and success to their patrons, parents, and the communities they live in. They owe it to their culture and the legacy of their ancestors. It is not enough to just learn about a person’s qualities if we want to understand how they succeeded. We must also ask where and when he was born. 
Take, for instance, the Beatles. They had their chance in Hamburg, Germany, before they became famous. It was 1960. It was a high school band. 
Hamburg was filled with strip clubs at that time. To attract more customers, the rock bands were invited. Bruno was a club that always featured bands from Liverpool. Philip Norman, the owner, wanted bands to play for hours. 
As John Lennon said about their experience in Hamburg, “We got better and get more confidence…We had to try even harder, put our heart and soul into it, get ourselves over.” 
The Beatles would spend eight hours straight in Hamburg clubs every night. They learned creativity, stamina, and discipline. They could only play the same songs in one-hour sets in Liverpool. In Hamburg, however, the Beatles had different versions to choose from. They played rock and jazz for eight hours.
In Hamburg, the Beatles played 270 nights over the course of 18 months. Since 1964, when the Beatles became popular, they have played live more than 1,200 times. This is what made them stand out from other rock and roll bands. They practiced a lot with a live audience. 
Hamburg was Beatles’ special opportunity. They were a beneficiary from the culture and community in Hamburg, Germany. As Philip Norman said, “They were no good onstage when they went there and they were very good when they came back…they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.”

Carnegie, Morgan, and Rockefeller

Historians have listed the 75 wealthiest people in the history of humankind. They began with Cleopatra and the pharaohs. They sought out the richest people in the world. Surprisingly, 20% came from just one generation in America. 
Andrew Carnegie was included on the list. He was born in 1835. J.P. Morgan, John Rockefeller, and John Rockefeller were both born in 1837. Out of the 75 Americans, there are 11 more. They all were born between 1830-1840. All of them are extremely rich.
Is this just a coincidence? Is it just coincidence? We can see that America’s economy went through its greatest transformation between the 1860s and 1870s. This was the era that Wall Street emerged. The production of steel began and railroads were built. American economy evolved from traditional to modern. 
The wealthiest people were all the right age to enjoy this economic boom, even the outliers. People born in 1840s are too old. People born in the 1820s have a tendency to be too old. The ages of Morgan, Carnegie, and Rockefeller were right. They became beneficiaries of their country’s economic growth. 
These wealthy men have vision and talent. They were able to seize that opportunity, much like the hockey players. They became the most powerful in the finance and steel industries. They were born at the right time and right place. 

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates:

Let’s take a look at the outliers of Silicon Valley. Their chance came in 1975. It was then that the personal computer Altair 8800 appeared.  These older models were very expensive and large. Altair 8800 costs only $397. It can be assembled at home. It is available for anyone to own. 
Personal computers were invented in 1975. You would not be eligible if you were too old or too young to take advantage of this special opportunity. If you are born after 1958, you’re still in high school. But if you’re born before 1952, you’re probably already employed at IBM. 
In Silicon Valley, IBM had been established in 1975. It makes mainframe computers that earn it billions of dollars. It employs those who are old enough for work. They are making a good living. But they are still part of the old paradigm. They didn’t have this special chance.
The right age to experience the personal computer revolution is around 1955. This generation came straight from college in 1975. They had the chance to explore all the possibilities of the computer. Who were the software billionaires who were born in 1955? 
Bill Gates was conceived on October 28, 1956. Paul Allen, his co-founder of Microsoft, was born January 21, 1956. They both studied at Lakeside together. They are best friends, and they are members of the Lakeside computer club. 
Steve Jobs was born February 24, 1955. Jobs was not from a wealthy family such as Gates. He was adopted. He was raised in Mountain View. It is located in the very heart of Silicon Valley. 
Jobs was raised in a neighborhood surrounded by Hewlett-Packard engineers. He attended forums run by HP scientists. He purchased electronic spares at the Mountain View flea markets. 
When Steve Jobs was 12 years old, he found Bill Hewlett’s number in the phonebook. He called Bill Hewlett to request spare parts. Jobs didn’t just acquire the parts. He was offered a summer job at HP. 
However, this does not mean that every business tycoon in the U.S. was born in 1955 or 1830s. There is a pattern to their stories. We were so focused only on individual success that we didn’t see the pattern. 
These people were successful and had a unique opportunity. They seized the opportunity and made the most of their life. They were born in a society that could reward hard work. They were not successful because of their own efforts. Their success was also influenced by the environment they grew up in. 

Asians and Math

Why is math so difficult for Asians? There are many answers. It is difficult to guess what is deeply embedded in their culture. Because of their cultural heritage, Asians are outliers when it comes to math. They are able to count and name numbers in a logical way. 
Chinese has very few words. 7 is “qi” and 4 is “si”. They are seven and four respectively in English. Because they are shorter, it is easier to remember the numbers in Chinese. They are easier to pronounce. 
English uses eleven, twelve, thirteen to count. Why do we use sixteen, seventeen, eighteen and not oneteen, twoteen or threeteen in English? For Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, the numbers are just ten one for eleven, ten two for twelve, and two-tens twenty for twenty. Two-tens-one is for twenty-one. 
English number names are irregular. The numbers are easier to add for Asians than they are for English. For 37 + 22, an English first grader will first convert thirty-seven (27) and twenty-two (22) to numbers. It is easier for Asians to add three-tens-7 plus two-tens-2. It is easy to see the equation. The answer is five-tens nine. 
The Asian number system works well. Asian children are able to learn counting, memorize and compute faster than Western children. Understanding fractions is easy. 3/5 is three-fifths of an English fraction. In Chinese, they say “out of five parts, take three”. A small child can find the fraction in the words. The numerator and denominator are already distinct. 
In English, the “decade” comes first for numbers like twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three onwards. But for the “teens”, the unit number comes first like in fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen. Western children are often disenchanted from an early age. “Math doesn’t seem to make sense; its linguistic structure is clumsy; its basic rules seem arbitrary and complicated.”
Asian children love math because of the simple and logical number systems. They are able to solve problems faster and easier. The advantage is already in numbers.
It is easy to assume that Asians have a natural talent for math. “But the differences between the number systems in the East and the West suggest something very different that being good at math may also be rooted in a group’s culture.”

Rice Paddies:

Since thousands of centuries ago, the Chinese have been cultivating and eating rice. Other Asian countries learned their technique for cultivating rice. Rice cultivation can be tedious. Rice cultivation is not like wheat, where you simply need to clear the fields and then begin to plow. 
Farmers must build rice paddies. Water supply must be available to rice paddy. The farmers create channels and dikes to water their crops. The soft mud will be used to plant the rice seedlings. The Chinese use human manure and organic materials as fertilizer. 
Rice cultivation is a family business. The farmer’s family, friends, and relations would all be involved. They would ensure that the seedlings of rice are planted correctly. They would harvest the rice together when it was already ripe. 
The rice paddy itself is very small. It is the size of a small hotel room. Two or three rice paddies could be found in one farm. A village in China can sustain itself on 450 acres. A farm is a single family’s property that covers 450 acres in America.
This is the striking difference in Eastern and Western agriculture. Midwestern America has huge farms. They rely on machines. This is because there is less human effort. The machines make it possible for farmers to grow more crops.
The Chinese and other Asians lack equipment. They put more effort and time into increasing their yield. Although the rice paddy may be small, farmers make sure they use it well. They ensure the rice’s quality. Farmers must work harder to produce more rice.
European farmers are also not active during winter. They are unable to plant so they mainly sleep. Graham Robb, a historian, wrote that “peasant life in a country like France, even well into the nineteenth century, was essentially brief episodes of work followed by long periods of idleness.”
Chinese farmers are never satisfied with their work. They make and sell bamboo baskets and hats during the dry season. They repair rice paddies. They make dried bean curd or tofu. The Chinese busy themselves with other livelihood when it’s not farming season. 
Spring will bring the Chinese farmer back to the fields early in the morning. Cultivating rice can be 20 times more difficult than planting wheat or corn. Each year, the Chinese farmer works 3,000 hours at the rice paddies.
The Chinese proverbs speak of the hard work of farmers. “In winter, the lazy man freezes to death.” “Don’t depend on heaven for food, but on your own two hands carrying the load.” The last one is very different from the Russian proverb, “If God does not bring it, the earth will not give it.”Eastern agriculture is more diligent and practical.
Rice Paddies are a symbol of the hard work of Asians. They were able overcome poverty and the challenges presented by nature. Their cultural legacy includes hard work. They bring this quality wherever they go. 


Now, we know that pure talent does not suffice to make it a success. You must have the opportunity to develop that talent. We also learned about the importance of our upbringing. Outliers don’t come from nothing. Their upbringing and the time it took to grow up is a part of who they are. 
It is easy for success to be explained by the individual’s characteristics. These qualities are also inherited by the culture he is a part of. These stories of success can teach us to make the most of what we have. If we are granted an opportunity or advantage, it is important to make use of it and work hard. This will allow us to be outliers. Thank you for enrolling in this class.

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