As author Scott Adams points out in a Dilbert blog post
, capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable. For people who want to do “something extraordinary,” he suggests two strategies:
- Become the best at one specific ability, or
- Get pretty good at two or more useful skills “until no one else has your mix”
With the model of a software application’s technology stack
in mind, Adams writes in a separate post
that a person can create their own talent stack with the following formula: develop a variety of “good-but-not-special skills” that complement each other and, when combined, create a whole that is stronger than the sum of its parts.
For Adams, the concept of the talent stack is responsible for his own success: there are plenty of people who excel at either writing or drawing, but there aren’t very many people who are even above average at both writing and drawing.
He writes that this combination, along with “ordinary business skills, my strong work ethic, my risk tolerance, and my reasonably good sense of humor” created just the right recipe for him to become a commercially successful syndicated cartoonist.