Specialization allows us to go deep. Adam Smith once wrote “It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people.”
To summarize in today’s lingo: take a bunch of people who are each really good at one thing, combine them into a big stew we call ‘society’ a you’ve wealthy economy that everyone benefits from, bro.
It was a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ kind of idea.As we each start to specialize in a narrow but deep skill, everyone combined creates a wealthier society.
This idea hit home during the industrial era, where workers became a gear, contributing to the larger success of the machine. Think of the classic image of a Henry Ford manufacturing line, where each person has a specific role to play.
But is this true in the digital age?
Today, AI rules specialization. Even disciplines like driving, medicine, music, acting and art are slowly being encroached by powerful machines accessing and receiving information at blazing speeds. Eventually, it seems like the only reason you’d want one of us humans to specialize in something is for the cute flaws and imperfections we would create. (I’m exaggerating a bit here; there will *likely* always be a need for some specialization. 🙂
But not all is lost. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to become multi-disciplinary.
Once you start pursuing mastery in multi skills, an interesting thing happens: you come up with new and unique ideas by combining them.
Connection is the new currency. How can we connect one discipline to another to create interesting ideas? Or how can we apply one disciplines way of thinking to another?
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #702