October 15, 2017

Evergreen Pains

Thanks to everyone who responded to my question from yesterday! Here is it again if you missed it:

If you had to specialize in something, what would you pick?

Almost all of the responses were from folks who would specialize on a technology. Things like:

These are all exciting things to specialize in and certainly are of value to certain types of buyers.

With my students, I try to go a level deeper by asking:

“WHY would someone pay you to help them with Kubernetes (or Bluetooth, or chatbots, or wearables, or whatever else)?”

I promise you that 99% of the time, it’s not because they are in love with the technology in question. It’s because they need your expertise to alleviate a business pain.

The nice thing about business pains is that they are evergreen. Things like:

These sorts of things basically never go out of style.

If you can discover what business pain you’re currently solving for your clients with Kubernetes, you can market yourself as someone who solves that pain instead of someone who’s a Kubernetes expert.

So when Kubernetes eventually goes out of style, you don’t go out of style with it. You can simply switch to the new best way to solve the business problem that you’re known for solving.