Gladwell also argues—with compelling evidence—that
hockey players born in January or February are much more likely to
succeed than those born in November or December. Why? Because the
age cut-off for junior hockey programs is Dec. 31; children born on
Jan. 1 are playing with and against those who may be nearly a full
year younger. They are identified as gifted early on and thereby
benefit from more practice, better coaching and all sorts of
So do Gladwell's conclusions apply to the roofing industry? I
The industry is full of companies that started in the early
1980s tied—either by accident or design—to the
emergence of single-ply roofing technology. Some roofing companies,
reared on and married to older technologies, resisted change and
failed. Others embraced change and succeeded. Still others found a
middle ground, never quite deciding whether...
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