Malcolm Gladwell, considered to be by the Time Magazine one of the 100 most influential people, is a Canadian journalist based in New York, that is famously know for his highly creative books. His writing lead New York Times to call him the “Dale Carnegie … of the iPod generation”. Malcolm is one of the most fascinating nonfiction writers of our time, a master of storytelling that skillfully uses suspence and mistery, to produce insightful analysis of our world by linking together all kinds of original ideas.
In addition to being a bestselling author, Gladwell is also a speaker and has been on job as a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. His books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), and What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009) have all appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list. What inspired him to write his first book, The Tipping Point, which was published in 2000, was the sudden drop of crime in New York. The subsequent books were all the result of research in the areas of psychology, social psychology and sociology. When asked for the process behind his writing, he said: “I have two parallel things I’m interested in. One is, I’m interested in collecting interesting stories, and the other is I’m interested in collecting interesting research. What I’m looking for is cases where they overlap”.
Malcolm was born in England, to Graham Gladwell, a British mathematics professor and Joyce, a Jamaican psychotherapist. He grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.
Here are 10 of my favorite quotes by Malcolm Gladwell:
1.“…If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires. ”
2. “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.”
3. “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.”
4. “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.”
5. “I am explicitly turning my back on, I think, these kind of empty models that say, you know, you can be whatever you want to be. Well, actually, you can’t be whatever you want to be. The world decides what you can and can’t be. And the appropriate place to provide opportunities is at the world level, not the individual level.”
6. “Do you see the consequences of the way we have chosen to think about success? Because we so profoundly personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift others onto the top rung…We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play—and by “we” I mean society—in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.”
7. “Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.”
8. “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.”
9. “In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
10. “It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call “accumulative advantage.”
Maria Fonseca is the Editor and Infographic Artist for IntelligentHQ. She is also a thought leader writing about social innovation, sharing economy, social business, and the commons. Aside her work for IntelligentHQ, Maria Fonseca is a visual artist and filmmaker that has exhibited widely in international events such as Manifesta 5, Sao Paulo Biennial, Photo Espana, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Joshibi University and many others. She concluded her PhD on essayistic filmmaking , taken at University of Westminster in London and is preparing her post doc that will explore the links between creativity and the sharing economy.