Pi-Shaped Person

The character, PiThe character, Pi

There’s the idea of being a T-shaped person: someone that has deep expertise in one area but is knowledgeable in many different disciplines as well. An expert generalist so to speak.

Personally, I prefer the idea of being a Pi-shaped person. Instead of deep expertise in one domain, I want to have deep expertise in two different domains - writing and building product - while still being dangerous in many other areas.

You’d think that the more spread your focus then the less great you’ll be at one discipline or the other. From my experience, I don’t find that to be the case. Writing makes me a stronger product person and product makes me a stronger writer (this is a post for another day). And when I learn a new, seemingly unrelated craft like fashion, it compliments my main two pursuits. For example, building out a successful fashion line requires deep knowledge of your customer base, future trends, and creating clothing that matches their needs. And developing your fashion sense is very similar to developing your writing voice. Last year, I also learned interior design as my Summer learning project and the process and frameworks are quite similar. Having experience in these various skills made picking up fashion fairly easy for me.

From learning many different crafts over the years one thing I learned is that the process, frameworks, and insights learned from one domain are transferrable to others.

August 5, 2023

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