Peter Thiel mentions his favorite interview question in “Zero to One”
What is that one belief you have that very few people agree with you on?
Here is my response, Peter
The best way to become great at something, is to do multiple things at the same time, all the time.
It goes against the concept of specialization.
Well, if you think about it, it goes against the concept of almost everything we all have been told, as part of our education and training.
Here is my rationale to this belief
- No one in the world knows what they are good at. What is their true calling
- We supposedly are meant to find this elusive thing, to have a shot at being successful
- And once we find it, just spend hours and hours pursuing it. Mastering the art
- What if there was something else better out there, that you didn’t even discover, or
- What if delving into something else, even if to explore and not master, would have helped you master the original skill
If I look back at my life, I have been so many fascinating things
- An astrophysicist
- A statistician
- A photographer
- A consultant
- An entrepreneur
- A public speaker
- A fitness convert
- A singer
- A DJ
- A product manager, recently
- An HR professional too recently
- A multi country manager
- A writer
- And am sure something else too that I am forgetting
But the thing that I am best is, is none of these. I think I am good at connecting with people. That’s where I find peace, that’s where I draw my strength from.
And all of the above roles have helped me exponentially in doing so. In ways I couldn’t have even imagined. And still can’t. But I know they helped.
And that makes the multidisciplinary path fascinating.
It’s amazing how many people begin to slow down discovering new things, as they grow old. When it should be exactly the other way round.
Come to think of it, there is a reason why the best intellectuals the world has seen, from Newton to Archimedes to Leonardo were all so many things in one.
Come to think of it, the people you look up to, are so many things in one.
Ask yourself “who am I”
And hope that you don’t have a single answer