Also, specialization is for insects

February 27, 2008

The only people who value your specialist knowledge are the ones who already have it. — William Tozier, from On trivia and details and miscellanea

So true. Though I intend to comment on this quote from a perspective slightly different than the context in which it was used. And that is this:

Don’t expect people to be impressed by your expert craftsmanship, or the subtle nuances of your latest design, or the extraordinary elegance of a new algorithm, or the brilliance of your latest idea. Chances are that, unless they know what you know — unless they possess the skills that you possess — they simply won’t care because they won’t understand. They won’t get it. This is the reason why it’s never a good idea to do or to create something for the glorification of one’s own ego. True appreciation only comes from those who know what you know, who have empathy, who have shared understanding gained from similar experiences. And this is almost always going to be a very small percentage of the population. The rest of the masses will simply marvel and move on.

So, do something because you love to do it. Not because you want other people to love it as much as you do. Some of the happiest people in the world are also some of the most obscure.