"Like Market Wizards, The Outsiders is popular because it's inspiring rather than because it's informative. The book doesn't provide nearly enough detail for readers to determine why the capital allocation decisions it chronicles were successful. It also has methodological problems reminiscent of Jim Collins' Good to Great but even worse-- Thorndike's approach involves a lot of survivorship bias, and he doesn't subject his outsider CEOs to any kind of control group.
As part of my investing research, I recently came across a CEO who's much younger than Thorndike's outsiders but uses the same capital-allocation strategy they did. One can think of him as an honorary ninth outsider."