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Jack of all trades, master of none? Nithin Kamath says generalisation, not specialisation leads to success

Kamath attributes his success to being a Jack of all trades.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2020, 06.02 PM IST
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‘Market Wizards’ was a book that Kamath would read whenever he was down trading.
‘Market Wizards’ was a book that Kamath would read whenever he was down trading.
Conventional wisdom will tell you that though opportunities are vast, you need to choose a specialization and develop it extensively in order to be successful. Nithin Kamath, founder, Zerodha, believes otherwise.

Jack of All Trades

He attributes his success to being a Jack of all trades and recently shared a book on Twitter that explains why this could be true.

“I can't agree more with what the cover and @DavidEpstein say,” tweeted Kamath. “Being a jack of many trades is probably the only reason I have been able to run a business, with whatever little success, in spite of having no business or academic specialization.”

Using the examples of successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors and scientists, ‘Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World’ , show how generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel.

We have been taught that success in any field requires early specialization and many hours of deliberate practice but author Epstein argues that this mindset is wrong. Instead of starting early, narrowing your focus and aiming for efficiency, he recommends sampling widely, gaining a breadth of experiences and experimenting relentlessly.

What else is on the reading list?

“I would recommend 'Market Wizards' by Jack Schwager,” Kamath told ET Panache in an earlier interview in 2018. “It’s a bunch of interviews with people that trade the markets and I am a trader in my heart, so it hits home.”

‘Market Wizards’ was a book that Kamath would read whenever he was down trading.

The book focuses on super-traders and the stories behind their sensational trading coups to offer a set of guiding principles that readers can use to become successful traders in their own right.

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