Review: Gladwell frequently takes on a specific focus / point, illustrates with numerous examples to make sure readers understand a conceptual idea. His books are easy reading and once you get the point, all the examples from different angles will become apparent.
This book is written similarly like his popular books such as Tipping Point and Blink.
Interesting observation, though many through common sense, refreshes things we otherwise might have overlooked. There are plenty of different interpretations and how we apply them in life. From David and Goliath, it’s really how we see our “enemies” and find its “weaknesses” and how to “attack” them. This applied literally in the book how Goliath actually might have illness and is too heavy to go attack David. Rather, it said, “Come to me.” In real life, 1 way to interpret it is how we see our competitors (in work it can be a rival product) and how we can find our own niche that they don’t have and compete.
The segment about disadvantage of advantage, and vice versa, is more how we perceive ourselves and compete within, that we frequently compare ourselves with those surrounding us but not on a global scale. And sometimes when we are in that competitive environment we lose sight of being a small fish in a big pond. Gladwell had used Monet and other artists had the same experience and how they got out of the trying and form their own gallery / space.
This is also very true when we are among the smartest, we could feel “dumb” psychologically.
The Theory of Desirable difficulty focuses on people who have dyslexia and use it as their advantage. This is an extension of using disadvantage as an advantage. For dyslexia, the author used the example of how a lawyer listens to pauses and hesitation during witness — rather than focusing on his spelling weakness. It turns a person’s focus to something more subtle when the main / common observation cannot be easily achieved.
The third segment of the book is the limits of power. It is a little unrelated to the main focus of the book as this one investigates how tragedies drive families to ask for heavier penalties, that could turn out to be “not working” because it’s almost like the accused had nothing to lose (or as the author said they did not care.)
Keywords: Decentread, psychology, self-help