Well, I finished Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers yesterday, and I can confirm that I would definitely recommend it as a good read. It is really well written, has some interesting anecdotes, and suggests that policy makers in areas such as education could be adopting a more scientific approach.
I wonder whether this new work will be understood in the way The Tipping Point was, or misunderstood in the way Blink often is. The message that many people seem to take from Blink is that we should trust our first impressions. What the book shows is that first impressions, and even second impression are very unreliable for most people. For some well trained and insightful people, a blink is enough, but for most of us it can be worse than having no data at all. The fact that Paul Eckman and a few people he has trained can interpret facial expressions should actually remind us that most of us can't interpret facial expression reliably.
My take on the Gladwell's new book is that outliers are people who are special (in terms of physique, intellect or some other characteristic) and who are then lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time - and who then exploit the combination. Special might mean being in the top 10%, perhaps the top 1%, but they have to be 'good enough', before the other factors have a chance.
In terms of my own children, I think one of the key messages I will try to pass on is that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to be really good at something.