Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Hardcover, 352 pages

English language

Published Jan. 24, 2019 by Riverhead Books.

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (3 reviews)

What's the most effective path to success in any domain? It's not what you think.

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 …

1 edition

Review of 'Range' on 'GoodReads'

3 stars

Find this review - and some more - on my website here.

Started with a tightly-knit structure, but faltered at the end. The last few chapters were a slog to get through - mostly because of numerous "business-class" style case studies.

Main takeaway? Other than the central idea around which the book revolves (and succinctly mentioned as the book subtitle too), the idea of interleaving is what struck me the most. I had already read about this particular method in Michael Nielsen's brilliant post on Anki (Augmenting Long-term Memory) and it was interesting to read about it formally in the book. Interleaving is the technique of mixing up your learning in varied environments so that it makes some unusual connections that you'd normally won't think about - and might come in handy when you are faced with a problem in a new environment you haven't previously …

avatar for secretGeek

rated it

4 stars