Elsewhere, I have called this ‘The Fitzgerald Rule’: You spot talent by looking at what people persist at, not what persistently happens to them.

Taking the ideas of cognitive peaks, fluid and concrete intelligence, the role of luck and persistence in scientific success, and other recent empirical findings, we should be able to start re-thinking how we write the lives of late bloomers. We might start by dropping the ‘late’ designator all together.

Rather than thinking of people as late bloomers, people who were in some way held back or prevented from success, we would be better off seeing them as opsimaths: smart people who carried on learning and achieved things when the timing and circumstances were right.

Biography’s contribution to this is to contextualise and show the ways in which talent can express itself seemingly out of nowhere. Tracing the factors that were in place before the biographical subject made their achievement, using the general factors detailed from recent empirical research, might offer a useful approach.

The Common Reader

"40 Under 40" articles are complete bullshit. Just keep working hard at what you're inclined to work at.