Friday Favorites: Outliers


“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. 

 It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” 

-Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

My 14 yr old stepson surprised and impressed me this week as he interviewed me for a school project. I guess I expected a dry interview where he’d read question to question. Instead he held conversation between questions, had some witty responses to my answers, and sounded like a little talk show host. I was blown away.


I’ve only seen him do game reviews and “how to’s” for his small video blog. He’ll talk for hours with no editing and often sounds tired doing it. Maybe that was his practice. I had no idea that with the click of a record button he could turn into an impressive mini talk show host.

Additionally, he’s doing a project on Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers: A Story of Success. I’ve never seen him so involved in a book that wasn’t Harry Potter. He recommended the book to me, and I’ve started reading it. The Curious Guy is off to a great start with an amazing layout (makes me want to switch my layout up), a great menu bar that that covers all the topics he plans to write about and he’s got a few good posts up.

I enjoyed Gandhi and What He Stood for (speech).  Many people quote Gandhi. My Favorite of his quotes is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This blog post was a great short reminder of Gandhi’s principles. The Curious Guy also takes time to set a few misconceptions straight regarding Gandhi.
With my mind on Outliers, I found myself looking into the ideas listed in the book that contribute to success. Malcolm talks about intentional practice and how much deliberate practice makes a person good, better or expert in an area (10,000 hours to be expert).  He discusses The One Thing (how experts focus on one thing versus trying to master everything) and the 80/20 principle (80% results are created by 20% of the input).

It’s funny how when you start thinking about specific ideas and things, you start stumbling upon information on those very things. This week I stumbled upon this well written post: 80/20 principle AKA the Parato PrincipleMy stepson’s project sparked an interest and I found myself searching “Outliers” in You Tube.

Many videos later, I can say this is my favorite. Its a pretty long video, but there is so much good information about how to become exceptionally great at something. It’s definitely worth the time.


Orai is a free iOS app that I’d be willing to pay for. It’s a must have app for anyone working on public speaking skills. The app sets you up to record a speech, and as you record it creates a transcription of your speech and times you. Once your recording is done, it tells you every filler word detected and highlights them in the transcription. It also measures your pace, highlights where you are to slow, and in a different color it highlights where you were too fast.  Lastly, it measures vocal variety in your recording too.

Android user? Don’t worry! The creators of this app are working on an android version.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: