Superstar lawyers and math whizzes and software entrepreneurs appear at first blush to lie outside ordinary experience. But they don't. They are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inh
The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot. It mak
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.
What happens when two people talk? That is really the basic question here, because, that's the basic context in which all persuasion takes place.
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.
It's just strange to think that so much of our enjoyment from sports comes from the elevation of arbitrary differences.
You need to have the ability to gracefully navigate the world.
My mother read me biblical stories at night.
Cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social and demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such a role in directing attitudes and behavior that we c
The trick to finding ideas is to convince yourself that everyone and everything has a story.
I'm necessarily parasitic in a way. I have done well as a parasite. But I'm still a parasite.
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.
My writing model is my mother, who is a writer as well. She always valued clarity and simplicity above all else. If someone doesn't understand what you're writing, then everything else you do is superfluous. Irrelevant. If any thoughtful, curious reader finds what I do impenetrable, I've failed.
It wasn't an excuse. It was a fact. He'd had to make his way alone, and no oneâ€”not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses â€” ever makes it alone.
if we can control the environment in which rapid cognition takes place, then we can control rapid cognition
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-ol
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....
The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world. Malcolm Glad
Activism that challenges the status quo, that attacks deeply rooted problems, is not for the faint of heart.
Lesson Number One: The Importance of Being Jewish
Success is not a function of individual talent. It's the steady accumulation of advantages. It's bound up in so many other broader circumstantial, environmental, historical, and cultural factors.
Without the New York Times, there is no blog community. They'd have nothing to blog about.
Books about spies and traitors - and the congressional hearings that follow the exposure of traitors - generally assume that false-negative errors are much worse than false-positive errors.
I have a new way of doing things, and I donâ€™t care if you think Iâ€™m crazy.
All three of the great waves of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century European immigrants to America innovated.
I interviewed one of the most powerful lawyers in the world and he told me, "At the time, it was the worst thing in the world not to be able to get a job at a fancy law firm, but it's the greatest thing that ever happened in my life." It was a humble acknowledgment of how forces much larger than him
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.
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.
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.
We all assume that if you're weak and poor, you're never going to win. In fact, the real world is full of examples where the exact opposite happens, where the weak win and the strong screw up.