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Book Review- Range by David Epstein

Range is a thorough eye opener. For anyone who already believes that to be a jack of various traits is an edge, Range still manages to fascinate. The book talks about " How generalists triumph in a highly specialized world". David argues against the widely held beliefs of how an ideal education should be, how a great career is made & how true masters got where they are now.

The book has 2 broad "fields" or environments which basically are kind and unkind in nature, or, closed and open in nature. A kind field is closed to external intervention and interaction thus being less complex. An unkind field is open and highly interactive with everything in this world thus being complex. David focuses on the latter and argues how "generalists", people with many interests & experimenters actually do better in unkind environments. Rather than those who pick and master one skill from the very start. It advocates for doing different things, experimenting & learning through them. It has an interesting concept of "match quality" which, roughly is what you're doing and what your're meant to be doing. Great match quality is accompanied by greater growth and productivity.

The concept of horizontal or lateral thinking as against vertical, deep, expertise-seeking thinking is brilliantly covered. It'll force you to look within and look for applications of prior experiences on current problems. The book goes against the grain in almost everything it talks about and is loaded with enlightening examples and anecdotes.

Highly recommended.


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