M2M Day 205: The obsolescence of “cutting-edge” skills

This post is part of Month to Master, a 12-month accelerated learning project. For May, my goal is to build the software part of a self-driving car.

This month’s challenge is a bit different than the six previous Month to Master challenges. Specifically, it isn’t going to age very well…

In February 2017, I landed a backflip. If it was instead February 2020, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

In December 2016, I learned to draw realistic portraits. If it was instead December 2036, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

This month, May 2017, I built the software part of a self-driving car. If this was May 2020, this challenge would be completely different.

Well, of course, this is a guess, but still… In three years, it’s likely that everything I’ve built this month will be accomplishable with one line of code (with everything else being abstracted away).

Not only that, but my personal computer will be able to process much more data, much more quickly, outputting an exponentially better model for the self-driving car.

Basically, what I’m saying is that this month’s challenge isn’t going to be a challenge in a few years.

Not that that’s such a big deal, but it’s interesting to think about the obsolescence of skills and how the “cutting edge” quickly becomes the “dulling middle”.

Perhaps, I should consider this month’s challenge performance art, where the performance is “casual hobbyist builds self-driving software in a world where people still drive cars”. Then, this month’s set of blogs posts might stay more relevant/interesting over time. After all, art typically gains in value over time.

Anyway, just an observation that I thought was worth sharing.

Read the next post. Read the previous post.

Max Deutsch is an obsessive learner, product builder, guinea pig for Month to Master, and founder at Openmind.

If you want to follow along with Max’s year-long accelerated learning project, make sure to follow this Medium account.