Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Malcolm Gladwell, bless his heart, has a new book out. It's called Outliers and, based on what I've gleaned from the reviews, it seems to be about how people like Bill Gates aren't phenomenally successful just because they're talented – it's because they're lucky, too! Really?! Who'd've thunk it!

This is the third in Malcolm's trilogy of wildly popular duh books. In Blink he explained how snap judgments can be good – or bad. In The Tipping Point (the only one I've actually tried to read; gave up after fifty pages) he explained how word-of-mouth can help generate sales and make products successful.

Somehow, he manages to spin these wafer-thin premises out for 300 or more pages. (And I felt guilty for taking 288 pages to explain how two pro football teams merged in 1943.)

My disdain, of course, is firmly rooted in an unhealthy professional jealousy. But, really, my next book should be called No Sh*t Malcolm Gladwell.

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