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New Study Destroys Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Rule

Stashed in: Overnight Success, Awesome, 10,000 Hours, @richardbranson, @gladwell

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What?! Do you believe the new study??

:) There are plenty of "world class experts", who took 3 month to get there.

I'd like to believe that all success takes time, but it looks like you're right:

But a new Princeton study tears that theory down. In a meta-analysis of 88 studies on deliberate practice, the researchers found that practice accounted for just a 12% difference in performance in various domains. 

What's really surprising is how much it depends on the domain: 

• In games, practice made for a 26% difference

• In music, it was a 21% difference

• In sports, an 18% difference

• In education, a 4% difference

• In professions, just a 1% difference

The best explanation of the domain dependency is probably found in Frans Johansson's book "The Click Moment."

In it, Johansson argues that deliberate practice is only a predictor of success in fields that have super stable structures. For example, in tennis, chess, and classical music, the rules never change, so you can study up to become the best. 

But in less stable fields, like entrepreneurship and rock and roll, rules can go out the window:

• Richard Branson started in the the record business but quickly branched out into fields well beyond music: Virgin Group has 400 companies and is launching people into space.

• Then there's a band like the Sex Pistols, who took the world by storm even though Sid Vicious could barely play his bass.

So mastery is more than a matter of practice. 

"There is no doubt that deliberate practice is important, from both a statistical and a theoretical perspective. It is just less important than has been argued," the study's lead author, Brooke Macnamara, said in a statement. "For scientists, the important question now is, what else matters?"

SEE ALSO:  Malcolm Gladwell Explains What Everyone Gets Wrong About His Famous '10,000 Hour Rule'

Umm...I don't think anyone would claim that Sid Vicious was a master singer, bass player, or musician. He was however totally awesome.

Let's not pretend that mastery correlates with success.

That is an excellent point.

Some people succeed despite lack of mastery. "Beginner's luck."

My grandma used to tell me: "

- You need to know something about everything and everything about something


World class expertise does not guarantee of success. Success does not always require world class mastery. In reality, success is the result of many factors combined and the real sources of success hardly can be measured. 

I still suspect that successful people are experts at finding ways to get help in filling the gaps in their own expertise and talents. 

That's astute, Sergey, and I think a lot of what you say is true. 

Filling the gaps in expertise and talent is very important.

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