Drew Barontini

More about me

The Generalist Superpower

The phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none” often carries a negative connotation. However, the lesser-known ending of this saying, “…but oftentimes better than a master of one,” highlights the inherent value of being a generalist, particularly evident in the age of AI.

Being a generalist is a superpower. Why?

  1. Generalists navigate through multiple fields, bringing innovative solutions and creativity that challenge conventional boundaries.
  2. Generalists connect disparate ideas, drawing on a broad knowledge base to create solutions to complex challenges.
  3. Generalists bridge communication gaps, fostering cohesive teamwork and effective collaboration.

One of my most rewarding team experiences demonstrates the power of generalists. Our team, made up of individuals who were both designers and front-end developers, operated on a unique wavelength. Everyone had skills in both designing and coding. This dual capability among team members not only improved our workflow, but also deepened our understanding of each area.

The ability to live in both worlds of design and development enhanced team collaboration, efficiency, and the overall quality of the products we created. It emphasized the value of having team members who can appreciate and contribute to all stages of the product development process.

Embracing life as a generalist doesn’t mean losing depth for breadth. It’s about recognizing the strength in versatility — the ability to adapt, understand various disciplines, and innovate by connecting diverse perspectives.

To all the generalists out there, lean into it.