Category Archives: Business

Specialization is for Insects – Why You Should Be a Jack-of-All-Trades

Screenshot from STARSHIP TROOPERS

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

– Robert A. Heinlein

There is a fantastic podcast from Tim Ferriss detailing the virtues of being a jack-of-all-trades, or a “generalist.”

There was a time when jacks-of-all-trades were considered invaluable. They could just as easily chop firewood and pitch a tent as they could do their own taxes or write a letter to a senator. They made life richer and more rewarding, for both themselves and others.

These days, however, being labeled a jack-of-all-trades is essentially the kiss of death, particularly in business. This, as the Bluth family puts it, is “a huge mistake.” But why?

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