photo credit: John Carlisle

Master Of One

Akshay Krishnan
Aug 7, 2018 · 3 min read

My last job taught me a lot. It allowed me wear a lot of different hats — I played the roles of product/project manager, pitched to prospective clients and closed deals, acted as a liaison between the design and development teams, and even chipped in and did some content writing every now and then.

I gained invaluable insight into how a business is run from different vantage points and took with me some key lessons in entrepreneurship. Perhaps more importantly, I interacted and worked with all kinds of people — designers, code junkies, marketing professionals and even CxOs. My personal and professional networks grew exponentially.

I would strongly recommend a sandbox-style role like this to anyone in the early stages of their careers.

There came, however, a point of diminishing returns (for both the company and myself).

Credit: http://physiqonomics.com/

I soon started to realize that my peers were constantly sharpening specific skills whereas I had plateaued. Being a generalist was cool but it was time to try and become a specialist.

So when a fantastic opportunity from 1st Main came knocking, I grabbed it with both hands.

It was a web developer position that allowed for full-time remote work and flexible hours.
(To list out the benefits of an arrangement like this would be outside the scope of this blog post but I’m planning on writing a follow up post that covers it sometime soon.)

Right off the bat, there was something very special about this new role:

Without the constant distraction of phone calls, meetings and emails, I suddenly had large, contiguous blocks of time to focus on the task at hand and was able to enter that elusive ‘flow state’ more often.

I was also creating things. Something tangible to show for after a day’s work. Something that didn’t previously exist. Going from zero to one.

I’m still interested in more than just development and will most likely try my hand at a bunch of different things to satisfy that entrepreneurial itch. But I feel like I bring most value to the company and have the most growth potential when I have one niche area to focus on.

Find your niche. It doesn’t preclude you from pursuing different interests. It just gives you a sense of overall direction. Be a ‘jack of all trades’ but a master of one.

So what’s next? We’re a small team at 1st Main but my peers are highly skilled and accomplished. I’m going to be a sponge — absorb as much as I can from them and hopefully put it all together to make my contribution to the team.

“We are greater than the sum of our parts.”

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store