Malcolm Gladwell celebrates his birthday on September 3. Born in England in 1963, but raised in Canada, Gladwell has been a longtime journalist for the New Yorker. He even once was a writer for the conservative journal The Spectator and lived in Indiana.
When Gladwell started at the New Yorker he set out to "mine current academic research for insight, theories, direction or inspiration." His first book The Tipping Point, examines when and why major changes happen in society. The "Tipping Point" is a term used in epidemiology to explain when a virus reaches a critical mass and begins to spread at a higher rate.
He has written three additional books that can be found at CDPL -- Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw. In the Outliers he proposes that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become proficient and successful. One example he uses of this is the famous rock group the Beatles. They honed their music skills with at least 10,000 hours of performance in small venues in Germany before hitting the big time.