|Look! It's an artist over there. But what kind??|
And Gladwell makes an interesting distinction between the two: the Mozarts of this world aren't spending a lot of time searching for their masterpieces. They've already found them, and written them at the age of 21. And then they moved on to the next. While the Robert Frosts and (dare I say) Clint Eastwoods continue to experiment again and again before they finally get it right.
Which method is better is clearly beside the point. If you are given the talent of a Picasso, you shouldn't squander it by trying to emulate Cezanne. And if you aren't a Picasso, there's not much you can do about it.
Still, I found the idea that there is no visible difference between people who will always suck and those who are geniuses late in life very interesting. How do you know you're a Cezanne? And how does anyone else? The only way to find out is to wait and see. And keep at your art, whatever it is.