I know quite a few people that are fans of Gladwell's books. I just read a scathing critique of the man here:
The 10,000 hour rule has been applied to grappling ad nauseum in some circles. But both you and I know that we have met some people that defy that rule. Some people just understand quicker. Some people surpass us with far less mat time. Be honest. You have seen it too. Blue belts submit black belts...people going through the belt progression way faster than expected. And noobs mastering certain positions quickly and tapping us with ease.
These anomalies seem to defy Gladwell's position and the author of the above link pulls no punches.
"The Gladwell Feint is Malcolm Gladwell's 100-mph heater — we know it's coming, and there's still nothing we can do about it. In all of his books and in all of his stories, there is a moment when he questions the obvious…obviously. He tells us we have it wrong…and we know we have it right. He surprises us … and his surprise fulfills our expectations. He makes us anxious that we don't know something…only to assure us that we've known it all along. He flatters us by seeming to challenge us, and then makes the terms of the challenge so simple that we can't help but feel smart when we get it "right.""
Sure, 10,000 hours practicing anything will make you better at what you are practicing. By all means get your mat time in... but do not get frustrated by natural innate talent. And do not fall for the okiedoke either :)