I’m not an expert…

Abhishek Pratapa
3 min readApr 14, 2019

I can’t tell you the number of times someone’s told me they’re an expert on a subject. What the hell does that even mean?

  • Block Chain Experts
  • Social Media Marketing Experts
  • Relationship Experts
  • Weight Loss Experts

Can there legitimately be Block Chain Experts? Absolutely! How about Social Media Marketing Experts? Yes! Surely not Relationship Experts! Nope, there definitely are!

Well let’s break it down. Note the diagram I stole below from: http://matt.might.net/articles/phd-school-in-pictures/

Thanks Matt!

They push the boundaries of the human race, and there’s no way in hell I even pretend to understand half the stuff coming out of their mouths. Taleb has more on this in his book: https://www.amazon.com/Skin-Game-Hidden-Asymmetries-Daily/dp/042528462X

There’s an influx of content on the internet making it seem like everyone is an expert. And that’s simply not true. To be an expert, you have to put in the time to really understand the field. Reading a superficial article or watching a NOVA program on self-driving cars doesn’t make you an expert.

But many people feel like experts. And there’s a reason for it. It’s illustrated with the diagram below. There’s a point at with little experience we feel extremely confident in our knowledge. This is where most of the content is created. And why there are so many “experts”.

It’s just simple much easier to position yourself as an expert than it is to actually put in the work. If you want sustainable growth, my two cents, don’t focus on the positioning, focus on learning how to get results. Naturally grow your curiosity. Try to understand how the system works. Test your assumptions against the world.

Social Media is turning out to be the Photoshop of relationships. Photoshop has its time and place, put it away and learn how to really use a camera, better yet just experience it with your own two eyes.

My hypothesis is that to be an expert, you really have to immerse yourself in something and try to learn. Ask as many questions as you can, not worrying about the social perception of that learning. Even then being an expert is relative.What does it even mean to be an expert?

Da Vinci

Most experts in the 16th century would be considered of average if not sub-par intelligence today. That’s simply because we have more knowledge at our finger-tips. We truly do live on the shoulders of giants.

I can only conclude then that the term expert is an ego play. It makes us feel good when someone calls us an expert. Most “experts” I talk to, don’t even think of themselves as experts. Frankly it’s irrelevant. The only focus is whatever it takes to answer a question or get to another question.

In a way it’s like perfection. Many strive to achieve it, nobody really gets there. I draw parallels to“experts”. It’s much easier to just keep striving for it.

All I can really say is that this has worked for me and simplified things tremendously. I hope you get something out of it.

Thanks to Bread and Abhisek for the conversation that lead to this article.

Love to hear your thoughts below!