It is a meta-analysis of factors that seem to play a huge impact on our lives. Mechanisms that we either disregard, downplay or simply fail to recognize.
Some will say that Gladwell is "merely" connecting the dots, pulling ideas from others research, and by god they're right. It was only about f*cking time!
This is what happens when scientists and researchers are only able to concentrate on their private little problems in their private little domains (if they actually have any energy left from all the self-promotion, colleague back-stabbing and money grabbing).
More and more research gets done in matters that have little or no use at all.
We need teams of scientists and researchers whose job is "merely" to see what pieces are still missing from the big puzzle and to evaluate if we couldn't already say something about the grander view with some credibility, and if not, then at least have the authority to say where we ought to concentrate our joint efforts next.
The book's take home message in my opinion is that personal influence, and personal connections particularly, matter and that solving everyday problems is possibly never that complex, that time consuming, or even that expensive than we are lead to believe.
That may sound like the most self-evident revelation ever, and it is. Intuitively, and individually, we all know this to be true.
But in today's totalitarian mentality, you can't say stuff like that because it would mean admitting that most of us are probably working our butts of doing some menial work that would otherwise absolutely not exist at all.
It is also forbidden to even suggest that what average joe does, doesn't really matter, because s/he is too indifferent and/or underprivileged to even make a dent in the world.
Not that s/he never could, it's just that those who aren't indifferent and/or underprivileged will always have the upper hand, and the first go. And that is why they as a rule will succeed in their endeavors rather than the other kinds of folks.
There were also some other fascinating observations that Gladwell shared with us (that may or may not be true).
I was not particularly surprised to learn that people suck at categorizing stuff accurately. Reading movie reviews is all the evidence you need (in case you were doubting).
But I was positively overjoyed to hear that typically people can truly connect emotionally only with some half a dozen individuals at any given moment.
I've always wondered if people with "loads of friends and acquaintances" actually even know what is means to be friends with someone? What it means to connect with someone? These are question all of you facehookers should probably look into.
That's it, folks. Do read it as this time you might actually learn something useful...