David Epstein is the author of the New York Times best seller The Sports Gene. He has master’s degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He lives in Washington, D.C.
MFOB FEATURED BOOK: Range
Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. But a closer look at the research suggests otherwise.
David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters, and scientists and discovered that in most fields — especially those that are complex and unpredictable — generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. While generalists often find their path late, they’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.
Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes the case for cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. Ultimately, Range suggests that people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will thrive.