I finally got around to reading Outliers, and it was at least as good as the hype says it is. Gladwell draws from anecdotes and statistics to make the claim that people are less responsible for their own success than the unique opportunities they accessed over the course of their lives. Examples include Bill Gates, who had unlimited access to a computer where he could tinker and program in the sixties(!), and The Beatles, who played Hamburg for eight (sometimes more than ten!) hours a day for hundreds of days before going big.
Also, Outliers is where the famed 10,000 hours theory comes from, and it is powerful. Simply put, it’s the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of diligent practice — that is, doing something with the single focus of getting better — to master it. That is what separates the good from the great, and the great from the legends.
The message that Gladwell reiterates over and over again throughout the book is that we need to acknowledge our roots — our culture, our family, our childhood environment, etc. — to discover what unique opportunities successful people had access to. And then we need to look at our own lives and identify what unique opportunities we have access to, and leverage that shit.