/// 21 Things About Malcolm Gladwell

November 9, 2012  |  All Things Digital


“Steve Jobs was never once first to market. He succeeded by improving upon other people’s ideas.” During a keynote speech at the Tableau Customer Conference in San Diego on Wednesday, Malcolm Gladwell talked about the concept of practical innovation — essentially, innovating best instead of first — as it applies to a host of historically victorious underdogs, including such disparate examples as Jobs and the nation of Israel in the Bekaa Valley Air Battle of 1982 . Gladwell’s fifth book, “David and Goliath,” due in 2013, will explore this notion in detail. After his talk, we sat down for an excellent chat, and he answered some questions. What was your favorite TV show as a kid? We didn’t have TV, so naturally I thought that all TV was fabulous. What qualities do you like in a person? A capacity for forgiveness. Name one thing you will regret never having done (if you never do it). Going to Japan. What’s the single most important issue in the world today? That would be a long list to choose from, but I think the most interesting thing right now is probably the spread of freedom. Do you still buy CDs or rent DVDs? No. I’ve had a Netflix DVD sitting on my table at home for probably six months. What would you be doing if you were not in your current job? Real estate development. I’m fascinated by the way spaces get made — I wouldn’t build office buildings, though. What is your greatest achievement to date? Being a good friend and a good son.

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21 Things About Malcolm Gladwell

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