Book Club: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Jin Tanaka
4 min readFeb 13, 2021


The link:

This post is about 2nd book that I finished reading in 2021. I started to like reading a book every evening. For the past three months, I have read a book every evening, and it becomes my daily habit and changes my preference too!

This medium post is a personal note that I am sharing about what I have learned from this book — the book’s title, Outliers, someone who got success. I am always curious about any reason and factors behind it.

First of all, some people describe it, luck or ability. So, what is chance or luck?

What is luck?

I am thinking about the definition of those words and how to breakdown to other things. This book is for someone like me who wants to understand how people succeed, especially entrepreneurs, business owners, strategists, or anyone planning to start their business or any activités that they want to achieve with a great outcome.

Second, no one tries to fail. When people do something new or companies try to succeed, they take actions that will increase the success. However, we see many different outcomes and results from this. It has the reasons to be succeeded.

The last one is what you should focus on. Before starting the things, what you can prepare. Also, while doing your business, how you can focus on something with limited resources. These are the key questions for us. After reading this book, I wrote a summary and points that we should consider.

Summary: what I learned from this book

There are so many factors that may influence the likeliness of success. Even though the achievements seem like just magic or a miracle based on luck, it is essential to understand other factors and think deeply about what will happen in the future. Here are a few key questions: why now, why you, this industry, location/region, how to approach this, and how much. For example, what were the common things between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs? We know two of them are quite successful in their businesses. But, what’re other things in common? Both of them were born the same year, 1955. When they were young, they could learn about computers and surround by people and networks who are learning the computer and computing power or environment that inspired them to get into the early-personal computer revolution. For instance, Bill Gates was born into a very wealthy family, and his mother, Mary Maxwell Gates, was well known to educate him well, and she was a very successful business person in that era. In that sense, it was very advance knowledge that he got learned from his environment and by himself with his friends. And, back then, it was the beginning of personal computers for ordinary people.

This is the list of wealthy people in the U.S.

Here is another example of the top richest persons in the U.S.

As you can see, a lot of people were from 1830 and 1870. Because there were an industrial revolution and transformation changed the industries.

External factors: something you cannot control

  • Politics and regulation
  • Technology innovation (you can learn the technology itself)
  • Industrial revolution (transportation, telecommunication, internet, smartphone+GPS, crowd computing, AI, machine learning, Deep learning, 5G network, Robot, RNA, etc., Blockchain, Quantum Computing)
  • Economic Growth or a recession
  • Population growth of the country
  • Era, Time (why now)
  • Wealth from your parents or relative (Intelligence Quotient)
  • Early childhood Education and environment
  • Social and environmental change
  • Culture and Tradition: Mindset (you can change it, but it is inherited from the environment you grow up ins)
  • Place and countries you are born

Internal factors: something you can control

  • Network and Community you can have or make
  • Place/cities/countries where you move or to be
  • Adult Education if you can choose the place and the things to study
  • Understand the system and rule
  • Hard-work and commitment to become experts
  • How to talk, listen, and communicate with other people (Emotional Quotient)

You cannot choose the era when you are born. You cannot select the country and family you are born in. So, even if you do the same business, it depends on the era you are doing. The external factors and demands are different. If we look back at the things that already worked out, we can see why they worked out.

For us, considering these checklists before start to do anything, better to research and make a plan deeply. And, once you have a clear idea, you can focus on the things you can control. Otherwise, it is very difficult or impossible to change the thing you cannot control. At least, you can make a profess and influence.

How to use the knowledge for the future:

First, in my case, I make a plan with a long-term and short-term goal. 2nd, I consider external and internal factors and divide them with the part of your planning and strategy. On the last, think deeply about what is the thing you can have control of, or you can influence it. In contrast, better not to spend time, money, and energy on something that you cannot control or cannot influence. Ideally, you can affect anything that you can. My definition of influence is a more direct impact, and you can change the situation or the things.

So far, my main focus this year is to create contents, expand my network, increase visibility/awareness on the professional world, and build the social credential and reputation that I can use for my fund:

Here is my social media account, if you are interested in this:




Jin Tanaka

Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Shogun Capital. Born entrepreneur, a growth master, and a hustler. LinkedIn: