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Belhassen Chelbi
Belhassen Chelbi

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"We will specialize" is the first proclamation of "The win without pitching manifesto" book by Blair Enns and here I'm going to talk about my version of it.

It made so much sense for me to specialize as I found myself trying to be a front-end web developer and a UX/UI designer at the same time. Companies require profiles with a lot of skills that are beyond one specialty and I found myself trying too hard not to give up my effort of two years of hard work in learning and practicing web development.

Specializing levels up your learning game

It's much better to focus on one thing and learn it then trying to learn everything or you'll end up as another jack of all trades and master of none. If you're learning web development, try to understand how the front-end and the back-end work, taste a lot of stuff then try to find the thing that you're most passionate about and specialize in it. It may be SVG animations, it's small but people would hire no one but you if you become another Sarah Drasner or another Sara Soueidan because you will become an expert.

if we are not seen as ore expert than our competition then we will be viewed as one in a sea of many

Being irreplaceable

If you're another web developer who makes websites or another web designer who makes mock-ups, you can be replaced easily. Instead if you choose to specialize and commit to this decision by controlling your learning path and claiming this expertise, you'll be seen as an irreplaceable expert.

Playing hard to get

It may sound like a trick we're trying to do but in the battle for control between you and the client, you should win because you don't want them to dictate how you should do your work and that will be for their benefit too because when you control, you will be free to diagnose their problem(the third proclamation) and try to solve it with your own process. It's the right way to do the work because remember? you're the expert and you know so well how to solve your client problems.

Positioning as experts offers us is a sales advantage and a price premium so we won't be cutting prices, we're going to win more and charge more ( The 11th proclamation of the book). And we need to charge more because we need to solve problems by making great things for our clients.

"The win without pitching manifesto" book by Blair Enns is a real treasure to level up your game as a creative, the 12 proclamations are so related to each others, so I really encourage to read it, no affiliate link, buy it from what ever you want.

Top comments (3)

itr13 profile image
Mikael Klages

I disagree, seeming like the top specialist is what's important, but a person or company should always try to expand the width of their knowledge-base to prevent getting stuck with old ideas or grow obsolete.

Just getting paid well and getting jobs shouldn't be the sole goal, some thought should also be put into making good software.

belhassen07 profile image
Belhassen Chelbi

Hi Mikael, I didn't say "Just getting paid well and getting jobs shouldn't be the sole goal".
If you specialize, you'll be more qualified to solve the problems that you're trying to solve.
If you specialize, you'll be paid enough so you can solve the problem properly.
If you specialize, you'll be delivering value rather than regular work which doesn't help your clients.
For companies, the most effective and impactful companies have specialists and experts rather than generalists. Google don't have UX designers who does user research, information architecture, interaction design, visual design, etc. They have Interaction designers, user researchers, information architects, visual designers,etc.
I hope you get my point and I encourage you to read the first chapter of the book I mentioned "The win without pitching manifesto" by Blair Enns. He may be more qualified than me to explain the idea. Thank you :D

itr13 profile image
Mikael Klages

I guess I was a bit unclear in what I meant too, I'm not saying not to specialize at all, just that it shouldn't be the only thing you do.

An interaction designer may not be able to advertise themselves with also being able to be a visual designer, but it may help them make more informed decisions.

I'll look for the book, but I have a feeling it'll be hard to get here in Norway :-P