Malcolm Gladwell is an anomaly.
I know this first hand. Not because I know him personally (although, we have met many times). Not because I know anything behind the scenes (although we do share the same book publisher). I know this, because prior to the launch of his last book, David And Goliath, I found myself in HMV (the famed record store), as the struggling retailer was diversifying their merchandising away from physical music into areas like t-shirts, headphones, music paraphernalia and even books. I was amazed to see Malcolm Gladwell’s previous efforts (The Tipping Point, Blink, etc…) alongside rock music biographies. What made this so interesting is that Gladwell’s book were, basically, the one business books there.
That’s when Malcolm Gladwell became an anomaly.
The staff writer at The New Yorker, and world-renowned non-fiction business writer was a rock star. His work was now front and center with the work of The Rolling Stones and Bob Marley. This feeling of stardom was further validated, when I was flying to Toronto from New York City and the flight attendant remarked that another passenger was reading one of Gladwell books to the other flight attendant. A conversation ensued about how Gladwell can frequently be found on this flight (he grew up in Ontario), and how cute he is (and how wild his hair is). They were not discussing the quality of his writing, but his quirky, cool and sexy looks.
Some authors have all the luck.
Prior to launching his last book, David And Goliath (which was published in 2013), Jon Ronson spent time with Gladwell in his New York home to talk about his latest work for something called The Culture Show. I had not come across this mini-documentary until now. If you’re interested in creativity, culture and what it takes to write when you’re at the top of your game, this is a fascinating piece of documentary glory. With that, anybody with an interest in business and marketing will love it too.
Here it is: The Culture Show – Jon Ronson Meets Malcolm Gladwell…