What is the thesis for the introduction to Outliers: The Story of Success?

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Gladwell states his thesis in the first chapter of Outliers . He says that so-called "outliers" are "the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." This runs counter to an assumption we make as a society—that highly successful people got that way through hard work or genius alone. In reality, hard work and genius are simply not enough. Gladwell does not dismiss either of these factors. In fact, he claims that great musicians, athletes, and so on became that way through 10,000 hours of work. But they also benefited from other factors beyond their control. Many were born into fortuitous circumstances. Others lived in societies and communities that were culturally supportive of their efforts. Still others had families that were able to support their efforts financially. The point is that they weren't born geniuses, and there are many hurdles that did not...

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