Book Review: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

image from Amazon

Finally, a book that resonates with me. This book brought many examples and comparison in various industries where generalists can win over specialists, and the other way around. The big conclusion from this book is an encouragement that it's not too late to learn something new, to discover something new, and finally, decide on something.

The first chapter was started with the stories of Tiger Wood and Roger Federer. Both are amazing athletes, but how did they do that? Each of them provided different stories. Tiger Wood who started golf very early, keep playing golf, and just golf, versus Roger Federer who had tried various sports before decided to focus on tennis when he was 12 years old. Thus the book continues with more questions: what about the other industries? 

What is interesting in this book is in the end of each chapter, the author gave some sort of trailer to prepare us, the readers, before entering the next chapter. It's more interesting than deliberately summarise a chapter and make it less connected with the following parts. Hence, there is a chapter at the end, as a final conclusion of this book. If you feel like you don't have time to read the whole book, feel free to skip and just read the conclusion part. But I quite enjoyed the whole book since the author wrote fascinating stories of many people from different industries. 

One example I remember the most is the case of Frances Hesselbein, who just started her professional career in her 50s. She spent years as volunteers at Girl Scout, where she thrived and took it as part of training (unconsciously). She doesn't plan for a long-term which I found fascinating. Short-term planning, being devoted to each phase of our career, and not afraid to let go of something we have to move to a better place. 

The most important thing before finally picking a specialisation is to enrich our experience to try many things. For people who are still wondering what they are good at, it's never too late to try many things to find out, you might be very good at impersonating people and finally become an actor or actress? Who would have known if you never tried it? I think this perspective supports Designing Your Life method by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Try and experiment first!

This book is not belittling specialists, instead it offered more insights, which cases would give spotlights to specialists, and which ones for generalists. In the end of the day, it would be our job as the readers, to define ourselves, as generalists or specialists, and we can choose how to thrive in our career. 

Where to buy: Amazon,, and Periplus (Indonesia). 


  1. Aku juga bacaaa buku ini tahun kemarin, berkesan sampe dipanjangin jadi research project lol

    1. iyaa baguuus banyak insightnya dan bikin makin semangat mengeksplor


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