I am a sucker for empirical analysis of larger-than-life phenomenon — especially those that make suggestions along the lines of “this is what conventional wisdom suggests…but here’s the REAL reason”.
Outliers is a brilliant book — at its core, it says successful people become successful for reasons beyond what meets the eye/ media/ rags-to-riches fairy tales and he attributes majority of the real reasons to “history and community” and “opportunity and legacy”. At the end of the book, I couldn’t help feeling a bit like he is focusing a bit too much on the environmental factors, while not talking enough about the things we do control / influence. To that end, it seemed a bit — a little bit — superficial and irreverent. I am not sure if I feel this way because of the very reason the author suggests — we have been sheep-ed for a long time to believe in romantic slogans such as “hardwork pays”, as if nothing else matters. In any case, if you read the book with this warning serving as the “pinch of salt”, it is a brilliant book.