Range -- David Epstein
Building on his previous popular book, The Sports Gene, David Epstein in Range examines the factors that enable people to excel not only in sports but in the arts, business, science, and other fields. His conclusion goes against the commonly-held view that starting early and specializing in something is key. In fact, he argues generalists, not specialists, often stand a better chance of success, because they tend to be more creative, flexible, and innovative thinkers. He points to studies of accomplished individuals who went through a sort of “sampling period” in their lives before zeroing in on something. In doing so, they frequently benefitted from having gained a wealth of useful experience and the ability to make connections others don’t see. Epstein makes a persuasive case that delaying concentration in a particular area, sacrificing some depth for breadth, and cultivating range can actually boost a career in the long run rather than impede it.