Outliers: The Story of Success Themes

Malcolm Gladwell
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Opportunity and Practice

In examining what made outliers like Bill Gates and the Beatles such phenomenal successes, Gladwell hits upon the important role played by opportunity. In each case, these successful people are given opportunities that most others do not have. In the case of Bill Gates, he goes to a school that owns a computer terminal connected to a large central computer. This is unusual in the 1960s and 1970s, when computers are room-sized devices costing millions of dollars and are owned only by large universities and corporations. Gates is able to start using a computer at a young age, gaining a head start on others in his generation. In the case of the Beatles, they have the opportunity to work in the non-stop environment of Hamburg nightclubs in the early 1960s when they sometimes play for ten or twelve hours every day.

In both cases, Gladwell observes...

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This section contains 1,222 words
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Buy the Outliers: The Story of Success Study Guide
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