"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost

December 22, 2013

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is back!

Born on September 3, 1963 (close to mine. The date, not the year of birth :p), Gladwell graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in history and later became a journalist, bestselling author, and recently a speaker.

Gladwell has been considered a thought provocator -- who happens to make us change the way we think about almost everything when/after reading his books. He has written five books: The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw and now David and Goliath.

After waiting for four years, Gladwell finally released his new book on October 2013. He brings the world his Gladwell-ness writings (with so much researches, lots of reading, tables, and this time, graphics!) back. David and Goliath -- Underdogs, Misfits and The Art of Battling Giants is not "just another book". It's a book you MUST read!

Well well, enough for the introduction part. Let's move on to the quick summary. :3

David and Goliath is divided into three parts: Introduction, Part One and Part Two. Part one includes the first three chapters and part two includes the last six ones.

On the Introduction: Goliath, Gladwell first serves us with the story of David, a shepherd guy from Elah, who won the fight over Goliath, the giant Philistine. The fact that David won seems so untrue, everyone didn't expect him to win.

When the Philistines came to Elah, King Saul, the King of ancient Palestine commanded his people anfd his army to prepare for the war. The Philistines built their camp at back south of Elah, while the King Saul's army at the opposite. Nobody wanted to attack first but then the Philistines lost patience that they sent their best soldier, Goliath, a giant, to the valley floor to fight one on one. When seeing Goliath, nobody in King Saul's side was brave enough to fight the giant.

But David, a shepherd guy, volunteered to fight Goliath. King Saul at first diubted him and asked him to take his sword and armor to protect him but David refused it. In the end David ran andused his catapult to shoot Goliath's forehead. Goliath went unconscious and David killed him. David won.

The story above shows us the whole content of this book.

Gladwell wants to show us that sometimes what we see is not the reality. That our mind can be wrong. That what we think is right is not absolutely right. And what we think is wrong is not 100% wrong. That strenght can also be weakness, and a weakness can actually be a blessing in disguise.


Part One: Weakness in Strength (and Strength in Weakness)
*Similar to what I've just said hehehe*

Chapter one, which is titled "Vivek Ranadive", consists os three stories of underdogs who won the game.

Vivek Ranadive has never played basketball before. So when asked to be the coach for his daughter's basketball team, he got a bit confused. His daughter (Anjali)'s basketball team consists of girls who actually can't really play basketball. But as an immigrant from India, who chose to study at MIT, and is a person who is really tenacious, he then found a way.

Ranadive's strategy is to keep moving until the oppsing tim gets exhausted. That's whu he uses full-court press. The key: Anjali and the team must not be tired. They must always be in a fit condition. One, two, three, attitude, hah!

T.E Lawrence (also known as Lawrence of Arabia)is actually an archeologist who loved to wrote full-of-imagination prose(s). He didn't graduate with good grades in the leading British Militery Academy. But he led a rebellion of Arab against Turkey who at that time overran Arab at the end of World War I -- and he mostly won the uprisings.

On 1971, Fordham University Rams played basketball with University of Massachusetts Redmen. Umass iwas a great team and was an undefeatable since 1969. The tallest player in Fordham was only 1,96 m. But Fordham used the full-court press strategy and won.

What we can catch from these three stories is that being an underdog doesn't mean that we can't win. Underdogs can win -- using the right strategies. Underdogs are sometimes underestimated by people, as not being capable of doing what they're doing. What people see is (maybe) just their appearance. They don't see the inside. But then, underdog strategy is hard to do. They gotta do it fast.

But most importantly, underdogs do it in their own way. They don't mind being anti-mainstream, and that's why they win.

*to be continued*

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