Reading 2022-04-12


  • Ref:: The Tim Ferriss Show
  • Title:: The Top 5 Reasons to Be a Jack of All Trades
  • Author:: Tim Ferriss
  • Year of publication:: 2007
  • Category:: Blog
  • Topic::
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Notes from reading

jack of all trades or a generalist

Well I don't agree with what the author said. But it's quite amusing to learn some arguments for myself, since I'm that kind of generalist.

Author's five reasons:

  • Jack of all trades, master of none is an artificial pairing
    • Generalists take the condensed study up to, but not beyond, the point of rapidly diminishing returns
  • In a world of dogmatic specialists, it’s the generalist who ends up running the show
    • Is the CEO a better accountant than the CFO or CPA? Was Steve Jobs a better programmer than top coders at Apple? No, but he had a broad range of skills and saw the unseen interconnectedness. As technology becomes a commodity with the democratization of information, it’s the big-picture generalists who will predict, innovate, and rise to power fastest
  • Boredom is failure
    • Lack of intellectual stimulation, not superlative material wealth, is what drives us to depression and emotional bankruptcy. Generalizing and experimenting prevents this, while over-specialization guarantees it
  • Diversity of intellectual playgrounds breeds confidence instead of fear of the unknown
    • It also breeds empathy with the broadest range of human conditions and appreciation of the broadest range of human accomplishments
  • It’s more fun, in the most serious existential sense
    • The jack of all trades maximizes his number of peak experiences in life and learns to enjoy the pursuit of excellence unrelated to material gain, all while finding the few things he is truly uniquely suited to dominate