Gladwell has given this talk other times, so kurup.org has a synopsis and review of an earlier iteration of the talk. Here is the list of Picasso vs. Cezanne types I wrote down during the talk:
- Melville (wrote Moby Dick in a year when he was 32, then not much else of note)
- The Eagles (their fifth album was the huge hit Hotel California, after which they only put out one more)
- GM/Ford/Chrysler (many innovations, but rarely persistent)
- American math (students give up when answers don't come easily)
- Mark Twain (wrote Huck Finn when 49. It took him over seven years to write it.)
- Fleetwood Mac (Rumours was their 16th album!)
- Japanese automakers (persisted for 20 years in engineering hybrids)
- Asian math (persistent test takers)
- The folks who give the big international math test on which Western students get crushed by the Asian students (TIMMS) decided to put a questionaire at the beginning. There were a ton of questions and many students simply gave up. When you rank countries by how many questions their students answered in the pre-test (ungraded) questionaire, it turns out to look almost exactly like the list of how the countries did on the actual test. Implication: It's all about persistence. Asian students don't give up, but American and other western students do.
- The implication with the artists is that they stopped being any good after their popular successes. Rather, I think some of the great ones (e.g., Picasso and Melville) simply became advanced.