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Talent and Outliers by Malcom GladwellFollow

#1 Jul 14 2010 at 4:42 PM Rating: Excellent
137 posts
Tidwell showed me a link to an interesting writeup by Altaier of the AoC forums about why they think success has less to do with talent than most think. For those that haven’t played AoC, don’t worry, you don’t need to have played it to understand.

* Why are so few people recognized for their ability to play such a simple game?
* Is the ratio of bad players to good players really that astronomical?
* And why are there even fewer guilds that are touted as unbeatable, even for a short period of time, at standardized PVP activities such as minigames?
* What defines success?
* What gives success? : Is it innate, or is it environmental?
* Does innate talent, or does opportunity play the greater role?
* My personal favorite: “How much of a role does luck play, and can it be manipulated/predetermined/quantified?”
What opportunities were the players who are famous given, apart from their own skill, that would make them successful? And could those opportunities play an even greater role than skill?

Personally, I think the contents are quite reasonable, however it focuses mostly on your own opportunities in regards to which teams you get to become involved with and the inherent bonuses that come with having such a team. In my opinion truly top tier status depends on not just that, but also another thing to accelerate the distancing between truly strong and just good.

Having multiple solid teams constantly pushing each other to the limits, constantly crossing new borders. This in itself is an opportunity which many do not get to take advantage of, and fits the “rich getting richer” thing. By being at the top level and competing and being pressured to improve, you are training even harder and getting even better, while people at lower levels are either getting crushed or not getting as much serious competition, learning and adapting slower or to an inferior level.

What is the logical thing to do when pursuing success? To wait for luck is almost like waiting for death for most people. So try your very hardest and look for every opportunity to break into the top percentile of play. Constantly seek out those strong or stronger to play with AND against to learn aggressively and grow instead of being content with being able to “beat up most people so I’m already pretty amazing, you can’t really get any better than this lol”, and proactively seek out ways to improve every aspect of your play.
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