Should We Blindly Follow the Experts?
I haven’t read Nassim Taleb’s higly-acclaimed book “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Improbable” but this has been among my must-read list and one that I have ordered today from Amazon. The decision to buy the book was hastened after I read an article the other day where this book was again mentioned. Interestingly, the article was not a review on the book itself but was rather an exposition on why it’s not wise to follow experts blindly in the online business world. The author, it seems, was prompted to write the article after he read the book. I’m not going to copy-paste the article but would give a gist of it only.
The author reiterates Taleb’s way of looking at the professional world which is broadly divided into two types – techne and episteme. The techne professionals are doctors, engineers, accountants, technicians, etc. who rely on knowledge that can be learned by the book in a step-by-step fashion. The knowledge is almost positive in nature.
Episteme professionals, on the other hand, are people like investors, writers, artists, musicians, actors and online marketers who rely on an elusive “knowledge”.
The difference in the knowledge acquisition of the two explains why we cannot reproduce episteme geniuses.
It seems, as is evident from the article, Taleb goes further to say that techne people work in the “Mediocristan” evironment where each profession has a mediocre effect on the whole professional community. It is like an accountant having a negligible effect on the accountant community. On the other hand, epistemes work in what is being described as an “Extremistan” environment. Here, a professional has a profound effect on the whole community. Think of a small-time blogger and a figure like Neil Patel and how the latter affects the former.
There’s a problem when we begin to look at the online business as a techne profession. This thinking, it is said, leads to people following online marketing gurus blindly on the assumption that replicating their strategies would bring them success. Of course, there’s nothing wrong in following experts but this should not make us believe that we could recreate their success by following the same strategies.
Well, I wish I could write longer but I’m yet to read Taleb’s book. All I can say is, success in the online business is about making your own mark. It’s not about copying successful people’s strategies. No two person's journey into the affiliate marketing world are the same. They are all unique.
By not reading experts' advice, are we not going to be overwhelmed with the glut of online marketing information available everywhere? Perhaps we will be. But these experts are not equipped than us to make to take OUR decisions. Instead of blindly following their advice, we'd better bring out our skeptic selves and be bold enough to take the final decision ourself.
P.S.: This post was not meant to discourage people from reading experts' advice. Rather, it was meant to encourage people to inculcate a questioning mind.