Range: Forget the ‘10,000 hours’ rule – there’s another way to succeed
Book review: David Epstein argues that early specialisation is not essential to success
Tiger Woods: one chapter shows talent nurtured early can produce a world champion. Photograph: Phil Coale/AP Photo
David Epstein’s follow-up to his 2014 book The Sports Gene provides a counterbalance to Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hours rule”. In Outliers, Gladwell argues that 10,000 hours of dedicated practice in a specific discipline is the minimum requirement for attaining success in that field. Epstein advocates for “range” and sets out to debunk the myth of the early start as being essential to success in later life.
He draws on examples from the world of sport, science, music, technology and medicine, to lend sufficient weight and breadth to his argument: too narrow a focus can lead to a dangerous attachment to our training and the tools of our trade.