An interesting conversation with over 370 comments as of writing this article has been going on over the past few days over at Hacker News.
User tmatthe posted an article from her blog on Being OK With Not Being Extraordinary and she makes the point that especially on the internet, only the brightest minds and best ideas get most of the praise.
And I agree on this point. Social media by definition is about highlighting engaging, newsworthy content while average news hardly make the headline.
Furthermore, I have the feeling that especially in tech it's relatively easy to become a victim of imposter syndrom by benchmarking yourself against the creme de la creme of your industry.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
– Theodore Roosevelt
As I was skimming through the thread on Hacker News, one particular comment from user umvi sticked with me.
S/he makes the point that it's incredibly hard to become the best person in one particular category, yet instead you would rather want to become extraordinary in a combination of categories instead and find a niche to become a leader in.
For example, becoming a top tier statistician is hard. But becoming a top tier statistician/programmer is easier. In other words, if you can get to a state where you know more statistics than your average programmer and more programming than your average statistician, then suddenly you are an above-average programmer/statistician. Keep improving those two skills and you may start to "unlock new forms of extraordinary".
I couldn't agree more with this point.
If you are reading this and struggling to carve out your very own market, consider looking at what adjacent skills you can combine to become unique in your field.
That leaves us with the question, what 2-3 things are you really good at?