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Erik Trautman

Technical entrepreneurship, business strategy and product development

The Problem with Being M-Shaped

There's a lot of noise these days about being "T-shaped." It's possessing that great blend of depth in a particular skill area with the ability to see the bigger picture and to work cross-disciplinarily. It's much better than being "lower-case-l-shaped", with depth but little versatility, or perhaps "apostrophe-shaped"... okay we're stretching it too far.

I am M-shaped. I see people all around me who have discovered their love for a particular field, be it database engineering or social media advertising or User Happiness Management, and they've spent years immersing themselves in the joy of it. I tried that in energy trading but never found my nirvana and left to build something real. I now find myself at a feast of 1000 dishes and, perhaps ill-advisedly, I've launched into it like a starving man possessed. Of the three major startup skills categories ["business", design, and development], I'm actively learning them all.

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