Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Omnivore's Advantage

Blog entry by John Robb

The gist:

"Specialization can:

- offer access to extremely dense and high value sources of energy
- provide protection from competitors (few competitors will have the specialization necessary to access it)

"However, when the environment is in a period of rapid flux, specialists can rapidly become extinct. Simply: its favorite sources of energy can dry up or become inaccessible as conditions change. In contrast, the generalist or omnivore, can thrive when the environment is in flux.

"We're living through a period of rapid change. Flux. Things are going get very different much quicker than most people assume. As a result, we need to adopt more of an omnivore strategy in regards to nearly everything we do. For example:

1. Skills. The more specialized your role/job, the less valuable and/or useless you are in the future. Re-skill. Broaden your knowledge. There will be few things more pathetic (albeit hilarious) than seeing a former $500 an hour lawyer or Wall Street Tycoon in a breadline.
2. Investments. An omnivorous investment strategy isn't hedging. Hedging still assumes most of what you own is still considered a financial asset. An omnivorous investment strategy puts resources into communities and technologies that will be there even when most financial assets are imploding."

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