The idea of the book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant seemed like a good one. The problem is that it just doesn’t live up to that promise. Instead, it reads like the opinion of a very insulated author (Grant) with a very insulated view of what “move the world” actually means. I do believe if you want to learn what makes the standouts of the world different, your best source is the standouts of the world – not the academics.

Originals is written from within the academic world of the Wharton School of Business. Don’t get me wrong – I am not against academia and I am a Wharton student myself having completed the Business Analytics specialization last year.

The issue I have with the book is that is appears more like a series of articles thrown together which sometimes only loosely relate to the subject. There are parts that I absolutely loved – Grant’s suggestion that wildly successful people win because they produce a larger body of work than those not as successful. The idea is that effort is often more important than talent – or rather than effort builds talent. In that respect, because working really hard is not at all normal – you could call those who are prodigious producers “original.”

As I mentioned, there are large segments of the book that seem to not at all relate to being “original” and rather, feel like you are just shooting the bull with Grant, not reading a theory based on any real scientific facts. It is largely anecdotal and while entertaining, Originals reads more like opinion than anything else.

by Chris Doelle