In this article Malcolm Gladwell looks at some people generally acknowledged as geniuses and investigates what lies behind their talents. In fact, he says, there are common threads in each of the examples – the willingness to put in a lot of hard work, the opportunies available to them (that they then take full advantage of) and the times in which they grew up or honed their craft. All are important, and all have to occur concurrently over a period of time – when they do, something special happens; people are able to really make their mark. It definitely gives you something to think about – the patterns show this is far from coincidence.
A while back Gladwell wrote another article (“In the Air”) in which he talked about there being times when important steps forward in thinking or technology can occur to a number of people at the same moment. The time has come for these ideas to make an impact. This is what ties in nicely with the genius piece.
The final link is an influential article from Bill Joy, one of the “geniuses” Gladwell discusses – just to give you more of an insight.
• The Guardian: A gift or hard graft?
• The New Yorker: In the Air
• Wikipedia: Bill Joy
• Wired: Why the future doesn’t need us