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Tech folks love to talk about “really smart people”.   I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of smart, effective people in my career.  But I think that while raw brain power is good, being right for a given situation is far more important. 

Even the smartest people only succeed in the right context. 

Some folks love being the jack of all trades in a small company.  And when the firm does $5 million a yar, that can be exactly what’s needed.  But when things grow, they don’t scale well. 

Others prefer to go much deeper into a given subject.  They may love front-end development or know everything about the database.  But they can’t and don’t want to do or know it all They’re great in larger organizations but will fail if they try to work in a startup or a smaller shop. 

Personally, I’ve been eating what I kill working with my small team for over 20 years.  But I lasted 6 weeks at Ernst and Young early in in my career.. 

So, yes, it’s important to look for great people. But it’s important also to know that even the greatest person is only great in the right context. 

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