I really think Malcolm Gladwell is a talented writer and I’d have to say I’m a fan.  I was disappointed with his book, Outliers.  (All of his other books are better.)  In his book Blink, he talked about how experts can do things without even thinking.  He failed to tell WHY those experts can do things the rest of us can’t do.  Fortunately, he explained the reason in Outliers with his section on 10,000 hours of practice.  There were some really good parts of Outliers – and all those parts were inspired by this book, Talent is Overrated.  Okay, Colvin isn’t as compelling a writer as Gladwell, but if you really want to know how to become excellent at anything, you’d better read his book.

Quibble:  I think there are some substantial differences in innate talent between people (which, I think, Colvin glosses over).  I think he’s right about the importance of deliberate practice.  You aren’t great at something because you practice like the other duffers.  You become great because you practice better than the duffers.  You know what? Practice is hard.  Why aren’t there more experts?  Because most people don’t want to endure the pain of difficult practice. He finishes the book with the secret of internal motivation.  That may be worth reading the book alone.