Specialization vs. The Competent Man or Woman

Three Points to Crosslink

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

While Robert Heinlein is a hero of mine, and this speech is often quoted. It’s a bit unrealistic. First, it takes a lifetime of experiences to make a person “Competent” in this way. Secondly, insects are the most competent class of invertebrates BECAUSE they specialize. The fossil record for insects goes back WAY further than for homo sapiens. Insects have made their way for countless millennia. We as a species have only been around (more or less) for a few million years.


I am also reminded about a blog post from Mark Cuban (toward the bottom, long blog post)  http://blogmaverick.com/2005/05/30/success-and-motivation-you-only-have-to-be-right-once/

And I quote:

“The point of all this is that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because…

All that matters in business is that you get it right once.

Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”


Seth Godin agrees.

From Wikipedia.com

‘Advertisements on television and radio are classified as ‘interruption marketing’ which interrupt the customer while they are doing something of their preference. Godin popularized the concept of “permission marketing” where the business provides something “anticipated, personal, and relevant”.’ Godin authored “Permission Marketing: Turning strangers into friends and friends into customers.”


Specialization is the ANSWER!

My Synopsis:

The big point Godin makes is you should make your business personal, creating and/or joining a tribe. Don’t try to market to everyone. If your product or service is for everyone, you fail, start over. Make your product or service for a very particular group of people. All you need is 1,000 of them to succeed. A very small, micro-niche business is all that is necessary. Big Corporations can’t compete with and aren’t interested in competing with you in that space. They are reaching into a big bucket of coins, grabbing a big handful, while dimes are falling to the floor. Pick up the dimes.  Be the absolute best in that space and command your own price for excellence. Specialization rules in the post-industrial, connection-based economy.

Cheers! 😎

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
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email: charles@hm-associates.com
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