#42 - Book of the Month: Range (Jul '19)

In this episode of the, It’s Not What It Seems podcast, my brother Darron and I discuss July 2019’s book of the month, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein.

Here’s a little more about David Epstein:

David Epstein is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene, which has been translated into 18 languages. He has master's degrees in environmental science and journalism, and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He lives in Washington, DC.

Here’s a little more about Range:

Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.     

David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see. 

Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

In this conversation, Darron and I do our best to synthesize some of the key themes and share some of our own experiences. Hopefully this chat might provide a little clarity, spark some inspiration, or at least encourage you to know that it’s not too late to start whatever you want to do. Perhaps you might be better off starting a little later. 

Here’s more on the Book Club for 2019: http://douglasvigliotti.com/blog/bookclub



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