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Generalist or Specialist: Pick One

Generalist or Specialist: Pick One

Liston Witherill
Liston Witherill
1 min read

You can claim that your specialization is in being a generalist, but that doesn’t make it true.

A specialist goes deep on problems. She studies them from multiple angles, and has a large sample size by which she can draw conclusions.

A generalist learns a little bit about a lot of things. He’s a problem solver with abstract knowledge but limited applications.

A specialist gains a deep understanding of her clients. She often knows her clients better than they do. She knows what to do, and when to do it.

A generalist makes guesses based on his diverse experience. He may be whip smart, but he’s having to learn the parameters of a problem every time he starts with a new client. His acquired and applied knowledge is limited when it comes to his ideal client, because he doesn’t have one.

Sure you can be a generalist, but own it. This is the opposite of positioning. It’s the opposite of differentiation.

You can do it but I don’t recommend it.