Talent is Overrated – Geoff Colvin

+ Scholarly book

– Becomes dry at times

+ New concept

– After a while feels repetitive, though it actually isn’t

+ Must read for parents

– Corporate analogy is a bit far-fetched

+ Frank

– yet, the most important downside of excellence in a field

+ Must read for any “tween” or her/his parent, provides guidance on raising kids talented

– May be misused to bring Confucian values to corporate – “Yes, it is bore. Go on working! It is good for you!”

Core idea:

  1. Talent isn’t inborn
  2. Passion isn’t inborn
  3. Innovation doesn’t strike but it grows (Probably against “Paradigm Shift” principle of Thomas Kuhn. Personally I have seen innovation strike and grow, both)
  4. Motivation is mostly extrinsic, slowly becomes intrinsic
  5. There is no “generic talent”. Talent develops for just a field for a person
  6. IQ helps in adjusting to new situations quicker, not firmer
  7. 10,000 days of Deliberate Practice (bore practice) delivers excellence
  8. Makes a compulsive case for starting arts and sports in childhood, business and science as early as possible
  9. Role of family (read parents) is highlighted
  10. Deliberate Practice =
    1. Early start +
    2. Need for a coach/teacher/guide/mentor +
    3. Repetitive, mentally demanding practice with ever stretching goals, increasingly becoming harder +
    4. Frequent feedback
  11. Results in “Expert behavior” like
    1. Seeing more patterns
    2. Gaining knowledge
    3. Developing vocabulary for various situations
    4. Being able to notice more and more meaningfully
    5. Being able to predict better
    6. Point to note is that chess experts were better than novices in remembering positions that may arise realistically – but as bad as novices for random positions
  12. Three models of Deliberate Practice:
    1. Music model – like sales pitch – have to be delivered as it is
    2. Chess model – like negotiation – situation identification
    3. Sports model – like mastering the routine tasks – so that there is more energy left for other tasks

2 comments on “Talent is Overrated – Geoff Colvin

  1. I had heard of 10,000 *Hours* Rule (http://www.quora.com/How-accurate-is-Malcolm-Gladwells-10-000-hour-rule). 10,000 Days is really really a lot of patience.

    • bhushit says:

      I also had known about 10,000 hours rule by Malcolm Gladwells.
      Interestingly, 10,000 days rule isn’t very emphatically stated in “Talent is Overrated”. [As a matter of fact, at our age, we may hardly have 10,000 days to remain effective in this world.]
      Interestingly, the book sheepishly mentions in the last chapter, the social cost – read, marital relationship cost – of dedicating 10,000 days to excellence .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s