Saturday, January 3, 2009


"No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich" - Chinese Proverb

I read another great book recently (Thanks Dad for telling me about it) called Outliers. It's written by Malcom Gladwell, the same guy who wrote Blink and the Tipping Point. To say the least, this guy is a great writer. Tipping Point is used in business everyday around the world.

Outliers is a book about where success comes from. In a recent Blog by Malcom he talked about success being nature or nurtur. The commom belief being that successful people are naturally successful. What his book tells us is for the most part that is not true at all. It has more to do with who you are, where you come from, when you arrived and the opportunities given you. Read it, you'll be blown away by the success stories.

A short story that I learned from the book:

At work we have a few Scottish footwear developers. In his book, Malcom tells a story of the rival clans in Kentucky. Essentially each clan (decendents of Scottish farmers) was a family and their bloody rivalries were centered around old world honor. So a few months ago, I (the American we can do anything) proposed a problem to the Scottish Developers. We had a shoe that needed some work, in the 11th hour. I came in with the problem knowing that these guys were the best in the business and could solve it. I said, here's the problem, and here's who surfaced the problem. I know you guys can fix this problem and I'm going to meet the person who surfaced it in 3 weeks. Can you just tell me how you'll fix it so I can tell him. The developers jumped all over me. You're bleeping crazy. That shoe is finished we're in production we can't fix this. Besides, it's a racing flat that is not a problem worth fixing. Does the bleeping runner really care about that minor problem. The two went on and on, and teamed up on the upbeat let's go fix it guys American. After reading Outliers it hit me. I was in a way blasting their honor. Me not knowing it and they probably didn't consciously know it either but their reaction was the same. If it was Kentucky in 1820 they would have pulled a gun on me and shot me. So I know now that when I want to present a problem like I did, I have to do it differently. I have to make it my problem and try to keep their honor intact. Either that or I need to go to the Chinese developer because they will work all night to fix it. Just kidding guys if you are reading this.

Read the book.....

It's a good life.....

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