Found in 7 comments on Hacker News
kr4 · 2018-05-12 · Original thread
keep building new stuff, on side in addition to your job (which is usually borring/monotonous). concentrating on details. Once you've spent 10k hours on programming it'd just come naturally to you. You'd be amaised how magically and naturally you can solve complex problems. This is an unfailing formula of attaining mastery in literally anything you can imagine [0].


aj0strow · 2016-05-30 · Original thread
I don't have data, only personal experience. See:

Malcolm Gladwell writes about this too, in Outliers [1] (chapters 3 and 4). His aim was to dispel the myth that success derives from intelligence.


Sealy · 2015-11-11 · Original thread
This looks like a re-hash of the findings published in a 2008 book by Malcolm Gladwell called "Outliers - The Story of Success". He's the one that made the 10,000 hour theory popular.

Its a #1 Best-Seller on Amazon:

kolinko · 2015-10-14 · Original thread
This is not the case, you could really read up more about that.

Here's a comic that explains some of the issues:

Some other bits and pieces:

- If earning a lot was just a matter of intelligence, you'd have as many people earning $100k coming from ghettos, as from rich neighbourhoods. Because intelligence isn't correlated to the social status of your parents.

- Intelligence isn't knowledge. If you're walking on a path riddled with deadly hidden traps, your intelligence will not help you much. And if you're in a race (and career is a race against other people, and against time), even if you're bright, you'll be left in the dust by people who might not be as smart, but were better prepared by their parents and community.

Those are not the "outlying cases" as you call them. The outlying cases are when someone manages to use his/her intelligence to get over all those challenges and switch into a different social class. A cool book called "Outliers" comes to my mind now. It's one of the classics and I highly recommend it:

m0th87 · 2009-12-09 · Original thread
I'm currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's new book, Outliers:

It's a fascinating account of what makes people successful. Major points I've picked up so far:

* the contribution of IQ to success maxes out at around 120; beyond that, IQ points don't matter much, because you're smart enough to get by.

* What Robert Sternberg nicknames "practical intelligence" ( is extremely important to overall success. Affluent and middle-class parents tend to be much better at passing this sort of intelligence along to their kids than lower-income ones.

* Seemingly irrelevant details like birthdate play a major role too. He shows how the day you were born has >10% contribution to academic success, because if you don't make the cutoff date for going to school, you'll be one of the older, and thus more mentally mature individuals in your class. Consequently, these individuals are more likely to be selected for gifted programs. And because of the academic grooming, they end up being more likely to go to college. He also shows how, for example, professional Canadian hockey players are almost never born in the later months of the year for similar reasons; if you don't make the cutoff date, you'll be one of the older players on your team, and scouts will confuse your increased maturity for inborn talent and you'll move up the ranks and get better training as a result.

It's a somewhat disturbing book because it shows how success isn't a direct function of an individual's aptitude. But I think it's also important, because, by observing these factors, you can hack your way into success even if the factors are going against you.

hegemonicon · 2009-09-27 · Original thread
Knowing what to work on is certainly more important than trying to brute force all problems with man hours, but unless you've spent hours and hours of hard work learning your field, you won't KNOW what to work on.

The only reason the Caterina people knew what to work on this time is because of the hundreds of hours of experience they got building flickr.

The importance of hard work to success is extremely well documented:

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