Outliers Quotes

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Throughout Outliers, Gladwell’s focus is to prove that success isn’t something one fully creates for himself. He introduces his theory by saying, “People don’t rise from nothing. We do owe something to parentage and patronage.” (Gladwell 19) Society believes that individuals can create their own success through only their own hard work. Gladwell proves that one cannot be successful without hard work and random opportunities. This is important because it explains why the hardest workers aren’t always the most successful. They were never given an opportunity to succeed.

When analyzing Bill Joy’s road to success, Gladwell says, “But before he could become an expert, someone had to give him the opportunity to learn how to be an expert.”(Gladwell 46) This quote reveals how Gladwell believes success can be achieved. Bill Joy, expert computer engineer, wouldn’t have achieved expertise without many lucky opportunities. Bill Joy learned to be an expert because The University of Michigan had time-sharing. Moreover Bill Joy learned to be an expert because the time-sharing at The University of Michigan had a bug that allowed Bill Joy to code for free. Gladwell’s example, Bill Joy, shows that without lucky opportunities …show more content…

Both Langan and Oppenheimer had genius level IQs, yet Oppenheimer was an outlier and Langan was not. Gladwell explores their different childhoods and concludes Oppenheimer's success was in part due to his parents wealth and parenting. Moreover he concludes Langan’s lack of success was due to his parents lack of wealth and absent parenting. Gladwell completes his theory by explaining Langan’s lack of success wasn’t due to his lack of intelligence, but instead due to his lack of support from others, “He’d had to make his way alone, and no one- not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses- ever makes it alone.” (Gladwell

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