Malcolm Gladwell quotes

  • The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Leadership #Positivity #Creative

  • I think actually the marketing community is approaching a crisis: There are just too many messages competing for too little attention. That is the fundamental problem.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Community #Marketing

  • That's your responsibility as a person, as a human being - to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don't contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you're not thinking.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Responsibility #Thinking #Bases

  • It changes how people read you if you believe in God. It gives insight into your motivation, how you look at problems and how you deal with people.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Motivation #Believe #People

  • When you're an underdog, you're forced to try things you would never otherwise have attempted.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Trying #Underdog

  • If you think success is about so many more things and is so much more arbitrary, then you can be much more open to the idea that you can be Ben Fountain and publish your great book at forty-nine.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Book #Thinking #Ideas

  • The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Swimming #Keys

  • By shifting the balance away from the individual we open the door for the individual. Because we make it obvious that anyone can do it given the right circumstance.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Doors #Balance #Shifting

  • The act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Beauty #Greatness #Odds

  • I'm totally engaging in cultural stereotyping, no question about it. But I think it's OK because I'm doing it for a reason, for a good reason.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Stereotype #Reason

  • The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Ideas #Magic

  • So long as the stereotype is used as a way of understanding how to fix the problem as opposed to demonizing a people or writing them off, then I think it's OK.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Writing #Thinking #Long

  • The values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #People #Profound #World

  • People at CDC [Centers for Disease Control] who cut their teeth on diseases over the last 10 years have started to think of crime as another disease, and using some of these same concepts. It was something that was in the air in that world, but it was time to bust it out and apply it to any number of different social epidemics.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Cutting #Thinking #Epidemics

  • We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We're a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don't really have an explanation for.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Problem #Storytelling

  • I think that persistence and stubbornness and hard work are probably, at the end of the day, more important than the willingness to take a risk.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Hard Work #Persistence #Thinking

  • That is the paradox of the epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Epidemics #Order #Firsts

  • Success is deeply rooted in time and place. You may have the drive to read tons of books on biology. But if there are no books on biology in your library, and the library is never open, your drive is meaningless.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Book #Library #May

  • A radical and transformative thought goes nowhere without the willingness to challenge convention.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Challenges #Conventions #Radical

  • The world is not a meritocracy, as much as we may like to pretend that it is. And we have a long way to go before we really reward people based on their own merit.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Long #People #World

  • Emotion is contagious.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Entrepreneur #Emotion

  • If your parents are billionaires, that might actually be an obstacle to your own happiness and self-development. If you go to Oxford or Harvard, that might actually thwart your desire to graduate with a science or math degree.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Math #Self #Oxford

  • Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions . . . by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Mean #First Impression #Firsts

  • ..... it would be interesting to find out what goes on in that moment when someone looks at you and draws all sorts of conclusions.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Interesting #Would Be

  • I want to convince you that these kinds of personal explanations of success don't work. People don't rise from nothing....It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn't.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #People #Succeed

  • 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.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Jobs #Media #Looks

  • When it's easy to make money, you have no incentive to think about development of talent.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Development #Incentives

  • 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.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Bills #Malaria #World

  • What we do as a community, as a society, for each other, matters as much as what we do for ourselves. It sounds a little trite, but there's a powerful amount of truth in that, I think.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Powerful #Thinking #Community

  • 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.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Communication #Writing

  • I'm someone who can provide an intellectual framework, but I can't tell people who are trying to sell Product X how to do that because I don't know, and I would be faking it if I attempted to step into that role.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #People #Intellectual #Trying

  • Achievement is talent plus preparation
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Achievement #Preparation

  • There's this powerful phrase in the legal world, "Difficult cases make bad law." The exception is the difficult case. You can't generalize them by definition. So although they are fascinating, they don't solve any problem because they're so one of a kind.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Powerful #Law #Phrases

  • The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that's the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today?
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Teenager #Spring

  • We are approaching levels - if we're not beyond levels - of threshold for the number of messages that consumers can take in in a given day. There is a kind of hunger for some kind of new approach to getting the word out about something.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Numbers #Levels #Messages

  • Instinct is the gift of experience. The first question you have to ask yourself is, 'On what basis am I making a judgment?' ... If you have no experience, then your instincts aren't any good.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Judging #Firsts #Judgment

  • When I see someone who reads something of mine and draws something out of it that's very different from my perspective, I think that's actually cool. Sometimes it's worrisome when you feel they badly misinterpret it, but it just says that they're thinking, and they're bringing their own interpretation to bear on it. That's part of the wonderful thing about putting words into the world, and if I was worried about that, I couldn't be a writer.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Perspective #Different

  • Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Giving #Quality

  • I don't think we [people] are averse to thinking about things in a deep way, but we have limited time and opportunity to think about things in a deep way. I think that's why there is an appetite for non-fiction - it gives people the opportunity to reexamine ordinary experience and be smarter about it.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Opportunity #Thinking #People

  • Outlier are those who have been given opportunities-- -and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Opportunity #Mind #Given

  • We [people] can't do much about the fate part, but we can certainly do a lot about the man part.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Fate #Men #People

  • Innovation-the heart of the knowledge economy-is fundamentally social.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Change #Heart #Innovation

  • Asian culture has a profoundly different relationship to work. It rewards people who are persistent.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #People #Asian #Different

  • The answer is that the success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Epidemics #People #Answers

  • Anyone who knows the marketing world knows that ideas come and go, and people latch onto things and think of them as a kind of solution....
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Ideas #People

  • The biggest mistake we make is trying to square the way we feel about something today with the way we felt about it yesterday. You shouldn’t even bother doing it. You should just figure out the way you feel today and if it happens to comply with what you thought before, fine. If it contradicts it, whatever. Life goes on.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Mistake #Squares #Yesterday

  • We have the kind of self-made-man myth, which says that super-successful people did it themselves.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Successful #Men #Self

  • Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and you discover they aren’t so tough after all,
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Tough Times #Tough

  • Instead of thinking about talent as something that you acquire, talent should be thought of as something that you develop.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Talent #Should

  • Bad improvisers block action, often with a high degree of skill. Good improvisers develop action.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Block #Skills #Degrees

  • You can learn as much - or more - from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Space #Faces #Hours

  • I know it sounds hard to believe, but habits laid down by our ancestors persist even after the conditions that created those habits have gone away.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Believe #Sound #Gone

  • If everyone has to think outside the box, maybe it is the box that needs fixing.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Needs #Fixing

  • Take a random group of 8-year-old American and Japanese kids, give them all a really, really hard math problem, and start a stopwatch. The American kids will give up after 30, 40 seconds. If you let the test run for 15 minutes, the Japanese kids will not have given up. You have to take it away.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Running #Giving Up #Kids

  • [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.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Spur Of The Moment #Pilots

  • The 10,000-hours rule says that if you look at any kind of cognitively complex field, from playing chess to being a neurosurgeon, we see this incredibly consistent pattern that you cannot be good at that unless you practice for 10,000 hours, which is roughly ten years, if you think about four hours a day.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Years #Practice

  • our world requires that decisions be sourced and footnoted, and if we say how we feel, we must also be prepared to elaborate on why we feel that way...We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that - sometimes - we're better off that way.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Knowing #Our World #Decision

  • The conventional explanation for Jewish success, of course, is that Jews come from a literate, intellectual culture. They are famously "the people of the book." There is surely something to that. But it wasn't just the children of rabbis who went to law school. It was the children of garment workers. And their critical advantage in climbing the professional ladder wasn't the intellectual rigor you get from studying the Talmud. It was the practical intelligence and savvy you get from watching your father sell aprons on Hester Street.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Children #Father #Book

  • Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Views #Play #Careers

  • It wasn't an excuse. It was a fact. 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.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Stars #Athlete #Rocks

  • If you look at the careers of great entrepreneurs and you look at the moment they took their plunge, the plunge is rarely a great financial or material risk, it’s a social risk. At the moment they started their new businesses, everyone around them said ‘you’re an idiot’.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Careers #Entrepreneur #Risk

  • My earliest memories of my father are of seeing him work at his desk and realizing that he was happy. I did not know it then, but that was one of the most precious gifts a father can give his child.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Memories #Children #Father

  • There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Epidemics #People #Starting

  • The great accomplishment of Jobs's life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies - his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness - in the service of perfection.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Jobs #Perfection #Accomplishment

  • 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.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #People #Stories #World

  • Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Intuition #Insight

  • To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success--the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history--with a society that provides opportunities for all.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Opportunity #World #Today

  • The Tipping Point is the biography of an idea, and the idea is very simple. It is that the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the ebb and flow of crime waves, or, for that matter, the transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth, or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Fashion #Teenage #Book

  • It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Meaningful #Teacher

  • Activism that challenges the status quo, that attacks deeply rooted problems, is not for the faint of heart.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Heart #Challenges #Problem

  • In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Believe #Numbers

  • Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That's it. And what's more, the people at the very top don't work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #School #People

  • A study at the University of Utah found that if you ask someone why he is friendly with someone else, he’ll say it is because he and his friend share similar attitudes. But if you actually quiz the two of them on their attitudes, you’ll find out that what they actually share is similar activities. We’re friends with the people we do things with, as much as we are with the people we resemble. We don’t seek out friends, in other words. We associate with the people who occupy the same small, physical spaces that we do.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Attitude #Two #Space

  • We need to look at the subtle, the hidden, and the unspoken.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Needs #Looks #Subtle

  • To be someone's best friend requires a minimum investment of time. More than that, though, it takes emotional energy. Caring about someone deeply is exhausting.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Caring #Emotional

  • Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Morning

  • Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Hard Work #Passion

  • Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions. But that spontaneity is possible only when everyone first engages in hours of highly repetitive and structured practice--perfecting their shooting, dribbling, and passing and running plays over and over again--and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court. . . . spontaneity isn't random.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Basketball #Running #Practice

  • Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Inspirational #Success #Thinking

  • Character isn't what we think it is or, rather, what we want it to be. It isn't a stable, easily identifiable set of closely related traits, and it only seems that way because of a glitch in the way our brains are organized. Character is more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstance and context.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Character #Thinking #Brain

  • Who we are cannot be separated from where we're from.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Success #Who We Are

  • We don't know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don't always appreciate their fragility.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Philosophy #Mean #Medicine

  • Nobody accomplishes success by themselves.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Accomplish

  • The kinds of errors that cause plane crashes are invariably errors of teamwork and communication.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Teamwork #Communication #Errors

  • What is learned out of hard work and trial is inevitably more powerful than what is learned easily.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Powerful #Hard Work #Trials

  • Acquaintances represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Powerful #Social #Source

  • I became convinced that knowing lots of people was kind of skill, something that the diligent can overcome.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Skills #Knowing #People

  • A prediction, in a field where prediction is not possible, is no more than a prejudice.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Prejudice #Fields #Predictions

  • We tell ourselves that skill is the precious resource and effort is the commodity. It's the other way around. Effort can trump ability-relentl ess effort is in fact something rarer than the ability to engage in some finely tuned act of motor coordination.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Skills #Effort #Way

  • Performance ought to improve with experience, and pressure is an obstacle that the diligent can overcome.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Overcoming #Pressure #Obstacles

  • If you think advantage lies in resources, then you think the best educational system is the one that spends the most money.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Educational #Lying #Thinking

  • Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Ideas #Viruses #Messages

  • Poverty is not deprivation, it is isolation.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Poverty #Isolation #Deprivation

  • The Band-Aid solution is actually the best kind of solution because it involves solving a problem with the minimum amount of effort and time and cost.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Leadership #Effort #Cost

  • The difference isn't resources, it's attitude.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Attitude #Differences #Resources

  • If you don't contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you're not thinking.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Thinking #Bases

  • Does that mean we should give up? Probably. But there are two issues worth considering. The first is - is it really true that drugs destroy the integrity of the game?
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Giving Up #Integrity #Mean

  • If a window is broken and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge. Soon, more windows will be broken, and the sense of anarchy will spread from the building to the street on which it faces, sending a signal that anything goes.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #People #Broken #Anything Goes

  • Father: 'Anything but journalism.' I rebelled.
    -- Malcolm Gladwell

    #Father #Journalism

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

    #Baseball #Media #Talking