David and Goliath Summary

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In Chapter one of David and Goliath, the author emphasizes the mistake one makes when they cannot identify an advantage and disadvantage for what they truly are. He explains that we have a limited definition for what an advantage is, and we need to realize that with an absence of materials, skills, or resources, on may actually be ahead. Gladwell notes that we should not necessarily look at someone who is smaller, poorer, or less skilled as a disadvantage. In fact, he points out, often times when an underdog uses their weakness, they come out on top. Gladwell gives a couple of examples in which the giant does not win, as many assume would have happened in most cases. He shows, through example, that as long as there is a willingness to try harder than the giant, one may not always be the “David” or “underdog.” He notes that you have to be desperate, you have to want it so bad that you’re willing to work harder than anyone else. Gladwell introduced the Redwood City basketball team, coached by Ranadive, as an underdog. He explained how they used their inability to shoot, dribble, and pass, as their greatest advantage. This even became the reason they beat so many “Goliaths”. Redwood fit every description Gladwell used in describing what is essential for a “David” to come out on top. They were so desperate that they were willing to try harder than their opponent. They used their weakness in a way that allowed them to beat other teams, attacked teams when they were just as vulnerable as themselves, would not fight the way the better teams wanted to, and refused to look at their situation as a disadvantage. The attitude and approach Gladwell gives through his examples (using weakness as an advantage) is essential if an underdog intends to come out on

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