Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

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 to make connections their more specialized peers can't see.

Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

Title:Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780735214484
Format Type:

    Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World Reviews

  • Mark

    Disclosure: I won this pre-release copy in a drawing from the publisher.The book wasn't badly written, but for me it was something of a slog. I've enjoyed similar books in this genre more, the sort of...

  • Michael Perkins

    The story of the new U.S. Open golf winner illustrates part of the thesis of this book. A range of experience is sometimes better than over-specialization. In the book, Roger Federer is another exampl...

  • Katie

    “Compare yourself to yourself yesterday, not to younger people who aren’t you.”An incredibly slow read for me but I enjoyed it a lot and felt like I was on information overload after finishing e...

  • Katy

    I received my copy free through Goodreads Giveaways...

  • Lou

    Some non-fiction can be boring and even useless, but this is a work of non-fiction that everyone should read; I certainly got a lot out of it and feel many others will too. Offering a wide-ranging wea...

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    Covers the idea of having a wide range of knowledge outside one's specialty helps people succeed. Often new ideas come from thinking analogically about things unrelated to what one is looking at. Has ...

  • Mehrsa

    This book is a useful mythbuster--grit, 10,000 hours, deliberate practice, tiger moms--this book says forget all of that (*sort of). Try lots of things, read broadly, and fail lots of times. I agree w...

  • Ryan

    After encountering the 10000 hours theory (Gladwell), the grit theory (Duckworth), and the Tiger Mom theory (Chua), it seemed obvious to many that we should specialize as much as possible and as early...

  • Randall Wallace

    I’ve staked my entire adult life on following the generalist’s path instead of the specialist’s, so I hoped this book would answer my basic questions: What about the role Neuroplasticity plays w...

  • Josh

    One of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein is, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by Davi...