Malcolm Gladwell occupies a very special place in the heart and DNA of Kobo – the first book we sold was Outliers, which examined the hidden logic of success and human potential. That first sale seemed like an omen for a young company with big ambitions.
Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath, is about how underdogs beat daunting adversaries. This theme has resonated with Kobo since we were founded and we had a packed house when Gladwell came to visit Kobo HQ. In his latest book Gladwell discusses how “weapons of the spirit” can be the key ingredient in winning and that determination, faith – even anger – are more powerful factors in determining the outcome of a contest than traditionally-perceived advantages like money, status, and strength.
“If we looked at the 50 most successful start-ups and measured the number of hours the people in those companies worked and compared that to the average weekly hours clocked by people at established Goliaths, no surprise to any of you, people at start-ups work I don’t know, 20-25% more hours,” said Gladwell. “That’s an example of a “weapon of the spirit.” Your determination and motivation to succeed in your job may be greater as a consequence of being a member of a less advantaged organization.”
At Kobo we have key pillars within our culture that have led to our own success since we first sold Gladwell’s book four years ago. Now, #ThinkBigger, #LeadWithSpeed, and #DesignWithLove will be thought of as Kobo’s Weapons of the Spirit thanks to this amazing author that has become part of the fabric of our success.