Summary of The Real Relationship Between Your Age and Your Chance of Success

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The Real Relationship Between Your Age and Your Chance of Success summary
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  • Scientific
  • Eye Opening
  • Concrete Examples


Some high-performing individuals don’t receive the social recognition associated with success, while others enjoy wildly successful careers based on performances that barely surpass those of their rivals. Albert-László Barabási, a pioneer in network science, explains the difference between performance and success. If you are over 40 and have yet to achieve your desired career goals, you’ll find comfort within Barabási’s enlightening talk.

About the Speaker

Albert-László Barabási is a professor of network science at Northeastern University. He wrote Network ScienceLinked and Bursts.



Success is attributable both to individual performance and to the quality of a person’s social network.

Genius physicist Albert Einstein once alleged that scientists who have failed to make a significant breakthrough by the age of 30 will never do so. Albert-László Barabási, a pioneer in the new academic discipline of network science, set out to test the verity of this assertion. He applied network theory to study the mechanisms behind human success and found that a person’s network is an important factor in his or her ultimate success. For example, Barabási’s team was able to predict the success of individual artists with high accuracy by contextually mapping out the galleries in which the artists held their first five exhibitions.

The other decisive factor in determining success, however, is performance. But as Barabási discovered, performance, ...

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