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    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Matthew effect

    I've been reading the book Outliers by Malcom Gladwell and was struck by his descriptions on how the Matthew Effect (the rich get richer and the poor get poorer) is effecting our changes of success.

    He unveils the important role 'relative age' plays in the lives and careers of successful people. And It's all about the system we use to find and select our biggest talents.

    This first example used in the book makes this very clear:
    In Canada young ice hockey players with talent are selected when they are 9 years old (not 10) for the all-starteams. The selections take place every year, at the beginning of the year. This simply means that if you are born in January your in luck. By the time the selection takes place, you are almost 10 years old. In your development you are way ahead of the kids born in December. Consequently they are selected and will enter special programs and receive extra training to further develop their talents. As a result most successful Ice Hockey players in Canada are born in January, February an March. This is a fact.

    The way almost all countries select their talents in sports and education is basically the same. And as a result there are a lot of talented people left behind.

    It makes you think. Why didn't anyone notice this before....?

    Read the book (besides the Matthew Effect he describes some other worthwhile ideas.)
    More on Outliers...

    2 comments:

    BMEstdnt said...

    If I may pose a question/thought; what about design, and particularly product innovation? As an engineering student the trend of success in the more mature students suggested by the Matthew Effect is readily apparent. However, as my interests being in a more design-centered practice, what personality "characteristic" (stemming from an age, region, sex, background, etc.) would contribute to one's creativity? Or perhaps not their creativity, but one's ability to "innovate"? This question stems from a recent interview I sat in on with a true medical device innovator, Dr. Thomas Fogarty, and it was clear that he falls into this category of "outlier".

    Regardless of the answers, if even any can be made, this is all very interesting, thank you for the posts. Planning to get out and pick up my own copy... cheers!

    cialis online said...

    This is really interesting I'd like to read this book because I think that good, this is based on attitude because I can become richer if I have the courage to do it.