Gladwell's book examines the question of what allows a person to become successful. He is especially interested in the "outliers," people who reach heights of success wildly beyond what the average person achieves (think Bill Gates or The Beatles) or who attain success despite extraordinary odds. Ultimately, Gladwell claims that success is largely due to a combination of social and environmental advantages (related to class, culture, location) and randomness (being born with a last name early in the alphabet, allowing you to be first picked when teacher arranges kids alphabetically). As for natural talent, he does concede that someone who puts in serious practice to any given activity (the 10,000 hour rule) will outpace someone with more natural talent but less commitment. However, he points out that even the amount of practice a person dedicates to their craft comes down to advantage. You need to have some level of privilege to be able to devote so much time to study. Someone who is poor and must work or whose family does not have the resources for the needed supplies and supports (dance classes or piano classes, for example) will not be able to put in the necessary hours to reach an elite level of ability.