That seems like child’s play compared to today’s question. That’s because today’s reader question comes from a reader who is politely asking, “Erik, haven’t you contradicted yourself?”
Don’t get me wrong. He didn’t put it to me in such direct fashion, as you’ll see shortly. In fact, he didn’t even suggest contradiction — he was a consummate diplomat about it. It’s just that his question caused 2018 Erik’s ideas to bang up against 2016 Erik’s. And it took me a while to reconcile the two.
The Reader Question: Is Niching-Down Counter Productive?
Let’s get to it. Here’s the question, with a reference to the 2016 post inline.
Thank you Erik for another great article. In “A Taxonomy of Software Consultants”, you say: “[Consultants] are hired in a more general problem-solving capacity. They advance their practice by being known for listening to their clients, tailoring solutions to them specifically, and notching glowing referrals”.
To achieve this, it looks to me that you would have to be sort of a generalist (as opposed to a specialist) in the sense of having to know (a little?) about many things. If so, it would be counterproductive to niche down. Correct?
Often you guys email me (erik at daedtech, and please, send me questions!) with questions or fill out a form on this site. But this particular question comes in the form of a blog comment on this post, about avoiding the corporate hiring process, written just a couple of months ago.
MrJP has apparently read this blog recently, and also read it back when I made that post in 2016. He understandably wants coherence in my overall narrative, or at least some kind of explanation.
I’m hoping to offer both today.