People may argue that Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is all about family background and family legacies. Others may say that what mattered most is the way someone are brought up and how much time and dedication they put into a skill or goal. People may also say that all of these factors are what the book focuses on in order to be successful. The book is not about family background, the “10,000 Hour-Rule”, or “Rice Paddies”. All of those encompass something very important, opportunity to actually apply those theories. The most important theory Gladwell presents is that opportunities are the key to become successful more so than the other theories.
Many people in the chapters would have not been successful without the opportunities that they were presented with. Opportunities give the chances of succeeding and becoming better at anything one desires to do or accomplish. Opportunities help these people reach their goals. For example Bill gates was from a wealthier background than most people. Just being from a wealthy background was opportunity number one to becoming a successful computer wiz. Gladwell says that “Opportunity number one... Gates got sent to Lakeside [a prestigious school]…number two…what mothers of Lakeside had enough money to pay for the school’s computer fees [Gates’ mother gave money to start the club]…”(54) and the opportunities still go on and on. He was able to be part of the schools computer club and later on he was presented with the opportunity to go off campus during the spring and spend sometime programming and creating codes. He lived close to a computer terminal were he was able to get in and practice. All of those opportunities are what made Gates, Bill Gates. Moreover, The Beatles, one of the famous bands of the 1960’s have thrived through opportunities not many bands had. They have been in many top 10’s, 20’s, etc. and have won many awards because they are a band with a great amount of talent. One of the most important opportunities they have had is the opportunity to play in Hamburg. The Beatles owe much to a man named Philip Norman. Norman says to Gladwell that:
It was an accident. Bruno [a club owner in Hamburg] went to London to look for bands. But he happened to meet and entrepreneur from London by pure chance…That’s how the connection was established…the Beatles made a connection not just with Bruno but with other club owners as well (48).
Without the opportunity of the connection to the club owner sent by Norman, the Beatles would’ve been another garage band with not much of a future. They were able to play at Bruno’s club and many others in Hamburg and that was thanks to the opportunity of the connection they made. Gates and the Beatles would not be were they are today if they had missed all of those opportunities.
When people are born at the right time, this is not an example of being lucky or a chance at something. This is not luck is because it sets people up for future opportunities. The foundation of...