The Rise of the Generalist

Karl Smith:

I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone say this and I am not quite sure what I think about it myself, but one way to view the economy in the Information Age is that the returns to specialization are falling.

So, those who like such things can go all the way back to Adam Smiths pin factory and think about all the tasks involved in making pins and how each person could become more suited to that task and learn the ins and outs of it.

However, in the information age I can in many cases write a program to repeatedly perform each of these tasks and record every single step that it makes for later review by me. The individualized skill and knowledge is not so important because it can all be dumped into a database.