To Match the Greats, Don’t Follow In Their Footsteps

The next Einstein probably isn’t studying physics.

People who dream of being like the great innovators in history often try working in the same fields – physics for people who dream of being like Einstein, biology for people who dream of being like Darwin, etc.

But this seems backwards to me. To be as revolutionary as these folks were, it wasn’t enough to be smart and creative. As I’ve argued previously, it helped an awful lot to be in a field that wasn’t too crowded or well-established. So if you’re in a prestigious field with a well-known career track and tons of competition, you’re lacking one of the essential ingredients right off the bat.

Here are a few riffs on that theme.

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