A common theme that appears throughout Outliers is the "10,000-Hour Rule", based on a study by Anders Ericsson. Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous time, using the source of The Beatles' musical talents and Gates' computer savvy as examples. The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the 10,000-Hour Rule. Gladwell asserts that all of the time The Beatles spent performing shaped their talent, "so by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, 'they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.'" Gates met the 10,000-Hour Rule when he gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it. In Outliers, Gladwell [...] notes that he himself took exactly 10 years to meet the 10,000-Hour Rule, during his brief tenure at The American Spectator and his more recent job at The Washington Post.
Not all practice makes perfect. You need a particular kind of practice—deliberate practice—to develop expertise. [...] It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all. Research across domains shows that it is only by working at what you can’t do that you turn into the expert you want to become. [...]
Our research shows that even the most gifted performers need a minimum of ten years (or 10,000 hours) of intense training before they win international competitions. In some fields the apprenticeship is longer [...]
Popular lore is full of stories about unknown athletes, writers, and artists who become famous overnight, seemingly because of innate talent—they’re “naturals,” people say. However, when examining the developmental histories of experts, we unfailingly discover that they spent a lot of time in training and preparation. [...]
Arguably the most famous violin teacher of all time, Ivan Galamian, made the point that budding maestros do not engage in deliberate practice spontaneously: “If we analyze the development of the well-known artists, we see that in almost every case the success of their entire career was dependent on the quality of their practicing. In practically every case, the practicing was constantly supervised either by the teacher or an assistant to the teacher.” [...] Eventually, all top performers work closely with teachers who have themselves reached international levels of achievement. [...] The development of expertise requires coaches who are capable of giving constructive, even painful, feedback. Real experts are extremely motivated students who seek out such feedback.
- K. Anders Ericsson, Michael J. Prietula and Edward T. Cokely, "The Making of an Expert"[.pdf], Harvard Business Review
Easy Rider . . . A bout de souffle . . . Pather Panchali . . . L'age d'or . . . Reservoir Dogs . . . Eraserhead . . . The Maltese Falcon . . . Les Quatre Cents Coups . . . L'Atalante . . . Citizen Kane . . . The Night of the Hunter