The means by which expertise is cultivated

Philip Morgan

Last week  I had a chance to speak with David C. Baker about... well, about this:You specialize so you can 1) develop a marketing advantage and 2) get smarter faster. Specializing means you see more similar client situations in a shorter period of time than a generalist ever could. This helps you quickly develop economically valuable expertise in serving a specific type of client or solving a narrow range of business problems using your tech skills.Pattern recognition, as David has done a great job of explaining in his latest book (, is the underlying mechanism by which we develop expertise. Focus accelerates pattern recognition. So far so good.In my discussions with clients, I see this somewhat overlooked "middle layer". The middle layer is the means by which expertise is actually cultivated, and because it varies a bit from firm to firm, it's not discussed very much.In this conversation with David, we set out to explore this overlooked middle layer more deeply.You might be curious exactly how you do things like:👉Create economically valuable intellectual property (the kind that won't become worthless simply because of a change in the popularity of a language, platform, or framework).👉Understand more about how you can create business value for your clients beyond just building them the software they need.Start to credibly call yourself a consultant rather than a developer, software engineer, or coder.If any of those questions are relevant to you now in your business, I think you'll find my conversation with David to be very relevant: talk about the means by which you can develop economically valuable expertise. This conversation is a combination of mindset-ey stuff, along with very actionable ideas about looking deeper, looking broader, and looking in more disciplined ways for the data and patterns that you can use to move the needle more effectively for your clients.I hope you enjoy this conversation with David C. Baker as much as I did: