Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist who has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has written five books – The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference; Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking; Outliers: The Story of Success; What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures; and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. All five books made it onto The New York Times Best Seller list. He is a noted speaker and was named one of Time‘s 100 most influential people in 2005.
Being A Writer | The process by which you teach yourself how to be a writer is really, really, really fun, its insanely fun! You should write about what you care about. No matter how nerdy or narrow it seems, what people respond to in writing is passion.
What Drives Me | Curiosity drives my writing.
My Views Of The World… | Are kind of weird and wacky. If everyone agreed with me, it would be boring.
You Have To Genuinely Care | People are just into everything, so long as it is communicated with joy and with interest. The thing that all readers can do is smell a fake a mile away. If you’re faking it, you’re finished. We can also smell genuine passion a mile away.
Passion Is Intoxicating | It’s the most exciting thing in the world and if you deliver that you’ll be successful.
My End Goal | I am trying to provoke people. Not in an irritating way, but in a profound way. I want people to re-examine what they believe. And I’m not trying to convert them to my position; I’m trying to make them think. I’m fine if you read my books and don’t agree with me. But all I want is for you to do is, for at least a moment, to consider the possibility that things might be different than you thought. And if I get you to do that, I’ve won.
Act Positive | You should be a positive force and act positive. And you can do that in a million different ways.
The Ignored Reason For Success | Fortunate coincidences and advantages help people succeed, sometimes more that own ability.
Lessons I Have Learnt | The most important thing I learnt as a writer is to slow down. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. People who create things shouldn’t be in a hurry. High quality things take more time than average things.
Talent And Love Intertwined | When I look at very successful and talented people, I see joy as much as I see inherent ability. I can’t figure out where talent stops and love starts. Great accomplishments are a combination of both.
Who I Would Interview | I’d be curious to interview somebody who was good at some very, very, very specific thing and get this question of passion; how much of the talent is actually passion? That would be a very interesting thing to explore with somebody that did something very narrow, not something grand. Something very specific. And walk them through their motivation. That would be really interesting.
How I Spend my Time | Writing is the easiest, least time-consuming part of my job and life. Mostly my days are figuring out what to write and figuring out who to talk to, so that I can write something.
Daily Actions And Habits | Everyday, I build in time for daydreaming. I expose myself to lots of interesting people & deliberately read things I think I wouldn’t be interested in.
What Drives Me | Is just curiosity about things and knowledge that there are many things I don’t know and that would be fascinating and fun to learn about.
Taking Risks | Critics, even when nasty, are very important; you learn something every time, and I am a better writer for it. It’s very important for writers like myself to take chances and that means sometimes you fall on your face. It’s not a crime to be wrong. It’s a crime never to take the chance and do anything so risky in case you’re wrong.
Using Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives | I think that school teaching and that learning should be a lot more cross-disciplinary from an early age. I think it’s probably a mistake in the modern world to make these kinds of strict mental division between subjects, among subjects. The thing about my books is that they’re about sociology, they’re about psychology, they’re about history, they’re about all these things because I don’t see a distinction between them. I just feel that I can tell you one story and I can teach you things from all those different perspectives and I think that’s why they appeal to people. And I think schools should do that.
Online Education | We have great teachers and great story-tellers. Through the Internet, anybody can watch them. And so teaching becomes transformed. Teaching becomes about one-on-one encounters, but lectures at their best are really just storytelling. We can have the best story-tellers in the world reach everybody and then we can use the teacher in the classroom to play a different function to being much more of a tutor and that’s one small example and it’s happening right now. That’s the direction education seems to be going.