Malcolm Gladwell


Canadian Journalist, Author and Speaker

Author Quotes

It is the new and different that is always most vulnerable to market research.

No one-not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses-ever makes it alone

Re-reading is much underrated. I've read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold once every five years since I was 15. I only started to understand it the third time.

The 10,000 hour rule is a definite key in success.

The poorer children were, to her mind, often better behaved, less whiny, more creative in making use of their own time, and have a well-developed sense of independence.

There will be statues of Bill Gates across the Third World. There's a reasonable shot that - because of his money - we will cure malaria.

We prematurely write off people as failures. We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail.

You don't start at the top if you want to find the story. You start in the middle, because it's the people in the middle who do the actual work in the world.

It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It's the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It's the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it's the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call "accumulative advantage".

Nothing frustrates me more than someone who reads something of mine or anyone else's and says, angrily, 'I don't buy it.' Why are they angry? Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head ? even if in the end you conclude that someone else's head is not a place you'd really like to be.

Research suggests that what we think of as free will is largely an illusion: much of the time, we are simply operating on automatic pilot, and the way we think and act ? and how well we think and act on the spur of the moment ? are a lot more susceptible to outside influences than we realize.

The answer is that we are not helpless in the face of our first impressions. They may bubble up from the unconscious - from behind a locked door inside of our brain - but just because something is outside of awareness doesn't mean it's outside of control.

The principle elements of a puzzle all require the application of energy and persistence, which are the virtues of youth. Mysteries demand experience and insight.

These are things that we live with in our society that are puzzling. It's puzzling when you have a little outbreak of school shootings?all these little indices of mass behavior that defy normal explanation.

We vary greatly in the natural advantages that we've been given. The world's not fair.

You don't want to be first, right? You want to be second or third. You don't want to be - Facebook is not the first in social media. They're the third, right? Similarly, you know, if you look at Steve Jobs' history, he's never been first.

It made me realize that I'd changed what I thought was a trivial aspect of who I was but it profoundly made a difference in the way the world perceived me. That was when I thought it would be interesting to find out what goes on in that moment when someone looks at you and draws all sorts of conclusions.

Of the great entrepreneurs of this era, people will have forgotten Steve Jobs.

Shouldn?t we think of someone who is nimble, has every technological advantage, and the Sprit of Lord as the favorite?

The best example of how impossible it will be for Major League Baseball to crack down on steroids is the fact that baseball and the media are still talking about the problem as 'steroids.'

The Rule of 150 says that congregants of a rapidly expanding church, or the members of a social club, or anyone in a group activity banking on the epidemic spread of shared ideals needs to be particularly cognizant of the perils of the bigness. Crossing the 150 line is a small change that can make a big difference.

They banded together. They learned the strength of their own faith.

Western communication has what linguists call a transmitter orientation--that is, it is considered the responsibility of the speaker to communicate ideas clearly and unambiguously. ...within a Western cultural context, which holds that if there is confusion, it is the fault of the speaker. But Korea, like many Asian countries, is receiver oriented. It is up to the listener to make sense of what is being said.

You need to have the ability to gracefully navigate the world.

It was an admission of defeat... He knew he needed to do a better job of navigating the world, but he didn't know how. He couldn't even talk to his calculus teacher, for goodness' sake. These were things that others, with lesser minds, could master easily. But that's because those others had had help along the way, and Chris Langan never had. It wasn't an excuse. It was a fact. He'd had to make his way alone, and no one--not even rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses--ever makes it alone.

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Canadian Journalist, Author and Speaker