Becoming an expert has never been harder — or easier.
Fully understanding a topic, whether brain surgery or Beethoven’s sonatas is a lifelong pursuit. Malcolm Gladwell has written about the 10,000-Hour Rule, the 10,000 hours that someone needs to practice something to became proficient at it. Honestly, it probably takes 50,000 or even 100,000 hours to feel truly confident about that proficiency.
Donald “Duck” Dunn, the legendary Booker T. and the MGs bass player who died yesterday, liked to joke that he played bass because it had two fewer strings than the guitar, so it was easier to master. He wasn’t kidding.
Few people ever know the feeling of knowing everything about something. There are simply too many subjects we need to learn just a little about to reasonably become an expert on any of them.
Thanks to the Internet, it is easy to dive down deep enough to get expert information on almost anything. Or is it? Who has the time or knowledge to figure out which information is the most important?
Better to engender the help of others with the resources to gather and analyze the information. Knowing what you don’t know is easily as important, if not more important, than knowing what you do. And knowing a lot about the right thing at the right moment is priceless.