When writing about building career capital, I wrote about how by combining two skills one can achieve exemplary success. I also mentioned how Donald Trump used this approach to become the American President against immense odds.
The same way one can come up with extraordinary concepts by systheising ideas from two diverse fields.
The truth is synthesis is all around us. It happens even without us wanting or working on it. But what comes out of synthesis is the sum of two or more parts. And, how good we are at synthesis and how valuable what comes out of synthesis depends on how good are the parts that made what came out of synthesis.
Our brain and our senses are the important vehicles through which the synthesis happens so it helps if these are as sharp as possible.
But if you are in a traditional career, it makes sense to become really good at one thing. It is helpful in two ways. One, the recognition comes easy for those with specialist knowledge. And someone who is good at synthesis, will have to carve their own path and that may take longer.
Look at someone like Andy Weir to see how synthesis unleashes its power.
Weir is best known for his first published novel, The Martian. It was later made into a movie with the same name, that grossed more than $600 million. To make The Martian as scientifically accurate as possible, he conducted extensive research into orbital mechanics, planet Mars conditions, the history of manned spaceflight, and botany. So, he synthesised writing and scientific research to write high quality science fiction.
You don’t have to be a science fiction writer to leverage synthesis. You can do it in any field. To play a safe game, lead with mastery in one field, and then pursue another to synthesise. You can start with both at same time, but will have to lean more towards one than another.
So you can be an investor, who researches trends like an academician and uses those trends and understanding of market behaviour to make investment bets. You can be an author, who also understands consumer behaviour, technology and marketing. Then, you can create a supremely successful direct to reader model, like Amanda Palmer. Jeff Bezos, did the same to create one of the world’s biggest companies and also to create extepalry wealth for himself and his shareholders.
Is it something you’d like to try?