Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Page Count/Review Word Count: 280
This book was actually incredible; mind-blowing, even. It was also my first Malcolm Gladwell book, and you can colour me impressed – I thought it was excellent, and I’m already putting some of its lessons into practice, and some of them were even things that I’d subconsciously (ha!) adopted.
The idea here is simple to grasp and difficult to master – essentially, we must learn to harness our gut feelings, but only in certain circumstances. Sometimes, our gut feeling is right; at other times, it’s as wrong as when white cops shoot an unarmed black guy because they mistook his wallet for a gun. But the thing is, you can train yourself to ignore extraneous stimuli, and to make quick, snap decisions using only the information that you need, like when doctors determine whether someone is having a heart attack right in the here and now, rather than based upon a lifetime of risk factors.
It’s hard to classify this – is it a business book, or is it a book on psychology? Perhaps it’s both, and who cares? Either way, it’s a great read to expand your horizons and to learn new things about how we act, as a species. Plus, if you’re trying to sell a product or a service, there are plenty of useful lessons too, like how blind taste tests don’t always work, and how packaging can change our first impressions of things, and therefore our attitudes towards the product. It’s compelling, it’s cleverly written, and somehow, despite being about a non-fictional subject, it’s a lot of fun. Great work, Malcolm Gladwell.