We know: Bush’s advice would probably sound unfashionable these days. So many of the pressures in our professional lives push us to specialize at all costs, to cultivate that one niche skill that sets us apart from the competition, and to keep hammering away at it. In this view, people whose interests are broad rather than deep are basically unserious. And what’s worse, they’re doomed to be overtaken by rivals who know how to really focus.
10,000 Hours With Claude Shannon: How A Genius Thinks, Works, and Lives
Jimmy Soni

Working in one of the most highly specialized and focused industries there is has taught me the value of generalization. The ability both to grasp entire systems and then focus on the tiniest details of a single component of a system long enough to either learn it or construct it is tremendously powerful. Knowing where your work fits in a larger context means you do better work.

In addition to that, specialization in this rapidly changing technological environment, ultimately means extinction as your particular niche vanishes. A good generalist can easily move from one area to another because the generalist already has, and is constantly collecting, an arsenal of useful examples from other areas to draw on when trying to understand something new. This means, where specialists fear the learning curve, generalists live on the learning curve — never letting themselves become too comfortable.

Generalization is a way of life, not a characteristic. It is not about being a jack of all trades and master of none, it is about being a master of learning trades.

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