My Review of Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘David and Goliath’


I love reading Malcolm Gladwell’s books. They’re always really engaging and full of interesting anecdotes. 2 of my favourites are ‘Outliers’ – which contains the famous pearl of wisdom that it takes 10 000 hours of practice to become a genius and of course ‘The Tipping Point’ which helped kick start the whole discussion around viral marketing

His latest book – David and Goliath – plays to his strengths. There’s lots of great stories drawn from all corners of the world and through different periods of history, built around an overarching theme of how underdogs and misfits defy the odds in order to succeed

I like it because

  • The stories are uplifting. It’s great hearing stories of how people have fought through adversity to achieve success
  • They’re drawn from all aspects of life – sportsmen, teachers, doctors, lawyers and from all periods of history for example, the Blitz, the Civil Rights Movement and of course it’s all based on the original David and Goliath story

It’s not strictly speaking a marketing book. It’s scope is much broader than that. However, there’s lots the marketing community can learn from it:

  • the importance of perseverance in trying to achieve success
  • how it’s always possible to turn your perceived disadvantages into an advantage
  • how to not take your strengths for granted

And of course, he teaches us the importance of telling powerful stories


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