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Matthew published his first book on the science of high performance, Bounce, in 2010. His second, Black Box Thinking, followed in 2015. Both received international acclaim and have been translated into multiple languages. He is currently writing his third book, due out in 2018.

Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success

Matthew Syed Black Box Thinking

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Black Box Thinking is a new approach to high performance, a means of finding an edge in a complex and fast-changing world. It is not just about sport, but has powerful implications for business and politics, as well as for parents and students. In other words, all of us.

Drawing on a dizzying array of case studies and real-world examples, together with cutting-edge research on marginal gains, creativity and grit, Matthew Syed tells the inside story of how success really happens – and how we cannot grow unless we are prepared to learn from our mistakes.

“It highlights the need for a growth mindset in life…It advocates for changing attitudes towards failure, and understanding that the only way we learn is by trying things and altering our behaviour based on the results.”

Richard Branson, Virgin Group

“An extraordinary, inspirational book which reveals how great performers and teams are driven by an insatiable curiosity for marginal gains, together with the intellectual courage to challenge their most cherished assumptions.” Dave Brailsford, Great Britain Cycling Team

“Creative breakthroughs always begin with multiple failures. This brilliant book shows how true invention lies in the understanding and overcoming of these failures, which we must learn to embrace.” James Dyson, Designer, Inventor & Entrepreneur


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Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice

Matthew Syed Bounce

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Just what does it take to be the best? What is the hidden logic of success that shapes the careers of world-beaters like David Beckham and Serena Williams, and creative successes like Mozart and Picasso?

Matthew explains why some people thrive under pressure and others choke, He weighs the value of innate ability against that of practice, hard work and will. From sex to maths, from the motivation of children to the culture of big business, Bounce shows how competition provides a master key with which to unlock the mysteries of success.

“I love this book. A must-read if you have ever wondered what sets the super-achievers and the rest of us apart – in any field, not just in sport. I only wish I had read it when I was fifteen.” Gabby Logan, BBC Presenter & former international gymnast

“Intellectually stimulating and hugely enjoyable at a stroke…challenged some of my most cherished beliefs about life and success.” Jonathan Edwards, Triple Jump World Record Holder


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