As Malcolm Gladwell – author of numerous New York Times bestselling books – points out, mastery and popularity are sometimes linked, but often they are not. If your goal is to become masterful at what you do, the formula is really quite simple: stay focused and do your time. This is the theory behind the 10,000 Hours Rule that Gladwell made famous. Worrying about whether you’re being recognized for your efforts, i.e. popularity, is a product of the ego, not to mention a distraction. . . . So get over yourself and get to work! In this lesson, Gladwell teaches you how.
Embracing messiness and understanding that it is a contribution to the creative process is something that writers and creative types have got to cultivate.
Malcolm Gladwell: It drives me crazy when people in the technological sphere inflate the importance of the kind of tinkering they do with these sort of software gadgets that they come up with.
You go to Hollywood now and you ask any head of any studio what their biggest issue is they’ll say there aren’t enough great screenwriters or there are only eight people in Hollywood who can write a funny movie or there are no great leading men. There is no great heir to Marlon Brando or Robert De Niro. Are any of those problems solvable through technology? No.
Malcolm Gladwell: I don’t know why we run from explanations of success that include a healthy dose of serendipity.
Remember the famous statement by William Goldman about Hollywood, "Nobody knows anything."? He was talking about how nobody can predict what the public really wants and he was sort of acknowledging the tremendous role that serendipity plays and simple luck plays in who wins and who doesn’t.
Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. His 1999 profile of Ron Popeil won a National Magazine Award, and in 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of four books, including "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference," (2000) , "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" (2005), and "Outliers: The Story of Success" (2008) all of which were number one New York Times bestsellers. His latest book, "What the Dog Saw" (2009) is a compilation of stories published in The New Yorker.
From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business, science, and then served as the newspaper's New York City bureau chief. He graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in history. He was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.