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I have a feeling you're compiling most of these blogs into a book because of the overwhelmingly positive responses.

Personally, I only have two top 25% things: Classical pianist/composer and Computer progammer. Now I know the third thing that I need to work on, thanks!!!

Brad Maas

Simon Allen (UK)

Dear Claire.

Thank you for your correction to my supposed correction. I think we have a trans-Atlantic crossing point! You put a ruled line and then the name in the same space as words from another person.

In the UK, we don't just drive on the other side of the road, we put names first, then the words, then a ruled line to indicate the close of that item.

I'll try turning the screen upside down ...


Well Scott I think it's just an overcomplication. I think Joel Spolsky nailed it - "smart and getting things done" are the most important skills for any job worth doing, as the vast majority of people are somehow more interested in protecting their backsides than getting things done. If you have these two, you won't ever be without an interesting job with a comfortable pay. And that's what I call success. Of course if you if you really want more stress and and you think you just can't live without a BMW - which is silly I think - then you might need to do more.


all i can say is, thanks for the advice. it came at the right time. keep it flowing...



1) I have a natural rapport with computers. We grew up together. I know how they think. If you want something done on a computer, doesn't matter what, I can do it. Tech support, internal repairs, programming, graphic design, security, networking, etc.

2) I'm a story teller. I've had a few short stories published and am polishing up my novel. I'm comfortable speaking before a group. I also listen to other peoples stories. I almost became a teacher because I can explain complex ideas to little kids and supervisors. I've dodged the management bullet several times.

3) I have a great memory. I remember stories I heard years before. I can tell you why so and such project failed a decade ago. I can tell you what to watch out for based on similar projects done over the years. I can quote comics, movies, and sketches nearly as old as I am. I can tell you the positions and scandals of various politicians and religious figures in my lifetime.
Anything I don't know I know how to find out.

I consider myself a computer nerd first and project caulk second. I see the holes in any project that need to be filled and fill them. I'm considering a run for president in 2012 since I see a job that needs to be filled and shortage of people qualified to do it.


Wayne... I was a little vague about it. I actually do already "kinda" combine them. I run a small recording studio and the tracking is all done on computers. But in reality, I find it's not a bad thing to have two avenues of separate revenue. When my studio work is sparse, I can just make it up by picking up more programming work, and vice verse.




I agree. I am living testament to your statement regarding strong combinations of skills to make you a rare commodity to businesses.

I have a degree in Theoretical Mathematics, I'm finishing a masters in engineering, I can eat large quantities of food in a sitting (placed 3rd at an IFOCE competition. I beat Big Brian Subich among others and lost to Dan Moses Lerman and Tim Janus X), I can build most anything, I am great at making lists

Job - Construction Estimating- entails rudimentary mathematics, being able to read directions and apply them in the real world (Blueprints/specs), also taking clients to lunch.

It's a good and happy fit! However it is not what I set out to do when I left for college. I always thought I would be a computer programmer or an architect. I kind of fell into the math/construction thing but it wasn't far off base. And that is how I roll!


Great 'subject'. Thanks Very much.


Arty (drawing, painting)
Creative (problem solving)
Musical (singing)
Acting / stage performing

But my job entails typing stuff... boring!
And I really dont practise my talents enough!


re Simon Allen (UK)

You even noticed your name beneath rather than above and still couldn't work out the poster's name comes after rather than before the post? Lucky your skills you mentioned do not require significant intelligence.

Dmitry Z

My own skills aside, you did make a good point of capitalism rewarding the extraordinary. I could not help but waiver from the point and wonder, what system does reward the ordinary: good people who do not try to jump to the moon but merely want to live GOOD lives? Come to think of it, your system pushes most of the people into the dustbin for under-achievers, who have to lead a fairly miserable life. Even if most of them learn two or more skills, it will only raise the bar for everyone... Sad, isn't it? Would you mind bit of socialism then, perhaps?

stuart - velkairiwyth

Performing (singer in a wee fun band.)

Computer construction (I had a lil side business for a while building PCs but found it easier keeping it at hobby level since it didnt make much money)

General computer knowledge (lil programming, lots about general pc operation, I can fix most problems in a few minutes, and have used PCs since a young age)

My career? Reliability engineer - working out how long power supplies and control systems will live...

Kill me now. :p

On a side note: Monday post: Wally has no coffee?!!


I majored in electronics, got a PG diploma is advertising, part time did a course on astrophysics. Now work for a telecom company. For sure, not for long. Insightful post.


very interesting post. my top two skills


dont know what the third is. perhaps i should go for public speaking.


Top 25%? I have a broad range of skills but I'd reckon them out to be roughly in the top 40% of each (sign language; motorcycle mechanics; parenting).

The stand-outs are: Spelling & grammar; Beauty (no modesty); Interpersonal communication; and Fellatio.

I've got it! I should be a hooker writing a book!!!


I aspire to be a curmudgeon. So far, I believe I'm in the top 25% for bad attitude. Now I just need to work on my presentation skills. Thanks for the advice!

I mean... grumble grumble you young whippersnappers...


Performing (music, acting, dance, etc.)
Languages (including programming languages)


I am persistent, I've learned to program computers relatively well, I've started my own business (even though not much reward yet, only work), and while not a native English speaker, while having only a good enough education in a poor country, I've been able to learn English mostly on my own, so I can read/write English besides Portuguese (my native language), I am an amateur chess player who learned it mostly by himself, I've had some experience at a job in I.T./development for two years even though it was never my goal, I started three Universities (one for Medical Doctors, and two for I.T.), and finished none, I learned a good deal after the Internet, mainly that folks in other parts of my country and even in other countries work and talk mostly the same (I was much shier in the beginning), I like to program computers but I dislike how other folks make it so painful (almost) on purpose, I started two blogs of my own (one in Portuguese and another in English; the latter because I wanted to practice English as well), I find folks sometimes follow me when they learn about my passion for computers...

Most of all, my family supports me a great deal and I've been a "leecher" so far.

I am happy with how far I have come, and I feel as if I am plenty victorious already.

Way to go! Thanks for the blog and your time.

Simon Allen (UK)


Hi, just to say that my post has the wrong name against it:

The post ascribed to:
Posted by: le big MAC | July 21, 2007 at 10:57 PM

is actually mine and my name is listed as the preceding item:
Posted by: Simon Allen (UK) | July 21, 2007 at 04:43 PM



something is missing for my morning coffee
or when i eat ice-cream in the evening
and for full two days!
isn't it cruel


This got me thinking about John Peters:

This guy went from Barbara Streisand's hairdresser to big shot Hollywood movie producer. How do you do that?! Anyone care to speculate on his top 25% skillset?


I trained to be an elementary school teacher, years ago. Got out of that, and drifted through to other jobs. When I moved to my current town, I became interested in local history.
I've always been good at written and verbal communication. And I'm very dedicated to things I'm interested in---I've been called "intense." My skill at local history grew, and out of nowhere, I was offered a job as the museum curator for the local historical society. I've been bery successful at it.


1. Ability to a intimidate people with my ruthless, psychotic persona. (I once shot a man in the face with a shotgun and *he* apologized to *me* after it was over)

2. Total lack of empathy for anyone but myself and my friends. (I once convinced my boss to invade a sovereign country to increase my personal wealth)

3. World-class cowardice. (I live in a bunker and I’m able to instill my irrational fears into the people around me)

I’ve been successfully working as the vice president of a major North American country for the last seven years.

Mark Robinson, Eindhoven

Hi Scott - this is, I think, one of your best posts yet. Great topic, thank you.

Off topic: what do you think about chipping people (see;_ylt=Am3SHg651vKjZ3Y7lKBZdQcDW7oF).


Hmmm no blog post today? Perhaps knee deep in Harry Potter?

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