Throughout Outliers, in addition to exploring the factors that determine success, Gladwell demonstrates how an improved understanding of success could have a dramatic impact on some of the most crucial facets of contemporary society, such as business, athletics, economics and education. Gladwell attributes several major societal problems, such as low graduation rates in inner-city schools, to a failure to understand success. For example, Gladwell posits that educational outcomes in inner city schools could be improved by adjusting age cut-offs or shortening summer vacation, two overlooked factors that have been shown in research-based studies to significantly impact student outcomes. Throughout Outliers, Gladwell seeks not only to inform, but also to suggest specific evidence-based solutions to real 21st-century problems. He also invites the reader to apply his or her newfound understanding of success to think constructively about how we can all contribute to a better society by focusing on the success factors that matter most, such as opportunity and hard work, rather than perpetuating the myth of “talent” above all.
Solutions and Implications for the Future ThemeTracker
Solutions and Implications for the Future Quotes in Outliers
The talent of essentially half of the Czech athletic population has been squandered.
We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail.
I don’t mean to suggest…that every software tycoon in Silicon Valley was born in 1955...but there are very clearly patterns here, and what’s striking is how little we seem to want to acknowledge them.
Terman didn’t understand what a real outlier was, and that’s a mistake we continue to make to this day.
This was Terman’s error. He fell in love with the fact that his Termites were at the absolute pinnacle of the intellectual scale...without realizing how little that seemingly extraordinary fact meant.
The Cs were squandered talent. But they didn’t need to be.
Since we know outliers always have help along the way, can we sort through the ecology of Joe Flom and identify the conditions that helped create him?
Schools work. The only problem with school, for the kids who aren’t achieving, is that there isn’t enough of it.
Her community does not give her what she needs. So what does she have to do? Give up her evenings and weekends and friends—all the elements of her old world—and replace them with KIPP
Marita just needed a chance. And look at the chance she was given! Someone brought a little bit of the rice paddy to South Bronx and explained to her the miracle of meaningful work.
These were history’s gifts to my family—and if the resources of that grocer, the fruits of those riots, the possibilities of that culture, and the privileges of that skin tone had been extended to others, how many more would now live a life of fulfillment, in a beautiful house high on a hill?