The Genius, the Expert and the Christmas Turkey…

I don’t believe we ever needed more reasons to love Kurt Vonnegut. But if we did need more reasons, Matt Webb’s extended quotation from the Vonnegut book Bluebeard would certainly suffice. In the excerpt, three types of people are outlined who must be present during any kind of intellectual revolution: the Genius, the Expert and Christmas Turkey. Sometimes you have to wonder if any industry has ever been more full of the third type than the web industry:

The third sort of specialist is a person who can explain anything, no matter how complicated, to the satisfaction of most people, no matter how stupid or pigheaded they may be. ‘He will say almost anything in order to be interesting or exciting,’ says Slazinger. ‘Working alone, depending solely on his own shallow ideas, he would be regarded as being as full of shit as a Christmas turkey.’

In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell called these people “Mavens”, “Connectors” and “Salesman” and we all bought his book and called him a genius. Go figure.