10,000 hours! that’s how long the Leo Sayer lookalike Malcom Gladwell believes it takes to become an expert in a specific field. As evidence he cites the Beatles suggesting that up until their apprenticeship as a house band in Germany, they were just another 4 piece. However, the grueling 8 hour performances, 7 days a week over many months honed their skills and gained them entry to the exclusive 10,000 hours club taking their performances and careers to a new level of greatness.
In today’s quick fix, RSS reader, top 10, bulleted list world it’s easy to forget that to become good at any discipline requires time and dedication not just knowing who to follow on twitter and who’s blog to read.
The ability to be good at something comes from practice not from reading about other peoples practice. For example if you had to have keyhole surgery who would you rather conducted it, a practicing doctor with 40 years experience or a man that has read every copy of the The Lancet.
It actually got me thinking about my own dedication to web development. I’ve been producing websites since I was 16 (10 years) and I would reckon I must have spent at least 2 hours a day on HTML, ASP and ASP.net. That must be roughly 7300 hours. Therefore if Malcolm is right, with my current commitment of 8 hours a day, Monday to Friday , by April 2010 I should be as big as the Beatles.