Consider these two talent profiles:

The Generalist, Mira Murati, OpenAI's CTO. Graduated from an Ivy League university with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Her first job was in banking, but she later moved into the aerospace industry as an advanced concepts engineer. Her remarkable journey took her to lead the development and launch team of an iconic electric vehicle manufacturer. Finally, she went on to lead the innovation efforts behind one of the most promising technologies ever, OpenAI.

The Specialist, Patrick Collison. a lifelong programmer who has made his mark in the tech industry. He was only 16 when he won the 2005 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, and two years later, he began attending MIT to study computer science. Collison co-founded his first startup, Auctomatic, which he later sold for six figures. With the proceeds from the sale, he started what is now a $100 billion payments processing company, Stripe.

Both are extremley successful because they figured early on what would work for them, and you should, too.

If you are to be locked up, make sure it is a golden cage

Specialization is important and valuable, and it is also a good way of placing yourself on the talent spectrum. However, you risk a lot if your area of expertise gets radically disrupted by a new technology or improvement. I say "improvement" because many domains thrive on some sort of deficiency or frictions in their market that could unexpectedly be resolved by a visionary entrepreneur or a startup team.

Let's say that you have full clarity on your career's risk profile and have decided to specialize nevertheless. Consider the following to ensure that you remain relevant:

You can call yourself a 'Subject Matter Expert' when you've developed a unique approach to doing things in your domain better, faster, and cheaper. Establish your conversations around these three value pillars and do a lot of PR to promote this unique approach of yours.

Understand everything that could impact your area of expertise. For example, if you are an iOS developer, balancing app performance with battery life is essential, so any hardware decision Apple makes is likely to affect your area of expertise. Make sure you understand how macro changes could impact your domain.

Train others. Don't just review code, but actually help others become better and offer to be approached if they face challenges in the future. Encourage them to tell a friend, and a friend will tell a friend. You can never go wrong when offering free training, which is what you will effectively be doing.

Here is an interesing POV

A jack of all trades is a master of n̶o̶n̶e̶ one, two or three..

Intellectual curiosity is priceless, and in fact, I am more often interested in why people developed their knowledge of something rather than how they did so. The idea of connecting dots is very powerful. Can you think of someone at work who is always two steps ahead of everyone? Of course, you do - we all have worked with this person at some point in our careers. Those individuals don't have crystal balls on their desks, but they have developed a T-shaped knowledge profile - a knowledge base that is wider than most and deeper than their peers.

Especially in business, moving from team-leading roles to function-leading roles happens when you have developed a clear understanding of how your function interacts with other functions, and that only happens years after getting rid of one's tunnel vision. So, a typical question like "how to become a business unit leader" should be replaced by "how should this business unit be led." Leaders who can answer the second question are usually multiversed and have operated outside their direct domain of expertise much more frequently than others.

The key takeaway here: if you are an engineer who wants to lead a business anytime soon, you should start learning more about sales, people, numbers, and markets. Technical knowledge becomes less and less relevant as you become more senior and start having others do this job for you.

Here is another interesting POV

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