Doomsday clock

Philip Morgan

The "Doomsday Clock" has been in the news again recently.In case you, like me, have had the luxury of basically forgetting about that thing, here's the quick lowdown from Wikipedia:------The Doomsday Clock is a symbol which represents the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe. Maintained since 1947 by the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board, the Clock represents an analogy for the threat of global nuclear war. Since 2007, it has also reflected climate change and new developments in the life sciences and technology that could inflict irrevocable harm to humanity.The Clock represents the hypothetical global catastrophe as "midnight" and The Bulletin's opinion on how close the world is to a global catastrophe as a number of "minutes" to midnight. Its original setting in 1947 was seven minutes to midnight. It has been set backward and forward 22 times since then, the smallest-ever number of minutes to midnight being two (in 1953 and 2018) and the largest seventeen (in 1991).As of January 2018, the Clock is set at two minutes to midnight, due to global threat of nuclear war, the United States not being involved in world leadership roles, and climate change.------Technologies have a "doomsday clock" too.Not a countdown to hypothetical global catastrophe, but a countdown to commoditization, which is the point at which skill in that technology no longer yields a price premium or no longer brings business to your door because the skill is both rare and in-demand.Right now, blockchain expertise seems pretty far away from its "commoditization doomsday". On the other hand, basic competence in .NET or Java would be on the other end of the scale; well past their commoditization doomsday point.It's not that the skills completely lose value when commoditized. Instead, it's that commodity skills on their own fail to generate a price premium. Commodity skills don't lead buyers to seek you or your company out because the skills themselves don't differentiate you from the ocean of other developers with similar skills. You need some other way of differentiating your business and creating exceptional value for your clients.Here are the options:#1 - Specialize in applying your technical skill to a particular type of business.#2 - Specialize in applying your technical skill to a particular type of business problem that will be a valuable problem to solve for at least 10 years.#3 - Cultivate world-class expertise in a particular technology and avoid commoditization by having truly unique, truly valuable, truly world-class expertise in the technology itself.#4 - Specialize how you package and deliver your services so you have a unique service offering with exceptional value for the right kind of buyer.All of those are technology skill plus something else. It's the something else that creates outsized value over the long term. It's the something else that frees you from the hamster wheel of learning a new, in-demand technical skill every 4 to 7 years after the old one reaches its commoditization doomsday.Get more info on how to specialize in this way: help improving your positioning or marketing? I offer a small group program to help you do exactly that: http://positioningacceleratorprogram.comI work with people 1-on-1. If you're interested in learning more, follow this link: /11-retainer/Know a self-employed software developer who might benefit from specialization? Send 'em this free gift! Details here --> /referrals/