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Technical folks are impressed by smart.  How fast someone can code.  How quickly they can learn a new skill.   How many obscure features they’ve mastered of any given system. 

I think it’s better to ask – how right?   As in how right someone is for a given situation? 

I’ve been working for myself, with a team of varying size, for over 20 years.   I’ve had dozens of successful clients.  That said, I’ve also failed.  I worked for Ernst & Young for 6 weeks and left.  And I’ve never had the desire for 80-hour weeks so startups were never something that peaked my interest.   And while I’ve successfully worked for large companies, it was always for a department.   My directness isn’t the best match for any place where direct speech isn’t a value. 

Point is, I’m good at what I do.  But I can’t work just anywhere. 

I’ve worked with hundreds of folks in my career.  Some have chosen the wrong career.  But, more commonly they’re in the wrong place.   

They’re a great jack of all trades. Which is fantastic at a small and growing company.  But doesn’t scale. 

Or, the opposite. They are a master programmer but can’t succeed if they have to also really understand the business.   

You can be really, really smart and not succeed if you’re in the wrong place. 

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