To become world class you should:
- Have some innate talent. This is, however, the least difficult part. Gladwell argues that you only need talent at or above a minimum level (e.g. an IQ of 110), and that's good enough. There is little or no correlation between world classness and innate talent *above* that minimum level.
- Be lucky in your surrounding circumstances so that you get the opportunity to work hard on "meaningful work".
- Actually work hard. Specifically, accumulate about 10,000 hours of practice.
As I say, worth a read. But I'll leave you with a thought about how to interpret it all for your own benefit.
First, you almost certainly have the required level of talent. If you're reading blogs about EDA, or consulting; if you're interested in high tech; you're smart enough. Let's move on.
Second, you can't really know if your surrounding circumstances are bad enough to kill off your chances. How bad things seem can as often be a function of your attitude to life in general - glass half full or half empty. And I'm pretty sure that for the vast majority of my huge audience of readers it would be true to say that greatness has arisen from surrounding circumstances far worse than yours. So, no excuses here either.
Which leaves only the final point. The 10,000 hours. This is where the focus should be. A modern phrase is, "Work smarter, not harder." Well, apparently not. Work smarter *and* harder. OK, so, remember to send me a ticket when you win your Nobel Prize.