Talent or Training: which is more important?

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Talent or Training: which is more important?


Talent or training? Which is more important? How does hard work and practice interact with natural ability? Today at the House of Hacks, Harley talks about these issues.

AsapScience has an interesting take on this as it relates to athletics.

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There's a playlist containing videos talking about the House of Hacks' values.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to Talent or Training: which is more important?

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: Hot Swing


On a photography related video, Hanz left a comment "You can't learn talent... You can only learn methods, but it will never look the same."

Leave a comment below and we'll talk about it today at the House of Hacks.

Starting right now!


Hi. Harley here.

Hanz brought up an interesting idea: what's the difference between people that have natural ability or talent and people who have an interest in something without the talent and need to work, learn and practice?

Here's my take on it.

Let's think about this as lines on a graph.

On the Y-axis, we have the outcome of the activity where lower is worse outcome and higher is better outcome.

On the X-axis, let's plot the amount of work somebody does to work, learn and practice the activity. The left side will represent less work. The right side will represent more work.

Now, let's put two lines on this graph.

One line represents the person that's talented and has natural ability.

And the other line represents the person that doesn't have the natural ability but does have an interest in the activity.

This is not a scientific graph. There's no data associated with it. It's for illustrative purposes only.

As we can see, for the same amount of work, the one with talent is going to outperform the one with talent.

However, if we look at this from the perspective of the other axis, we can see at some point, the person without talent that puts in more work can have a better outcome than the person with talent that doesn't put in as much work.

So what? What does this all mean?

I think this has to be answered by looking at your goals. What's the purpose of the outcome?

Is the result of your activity personal satisfaction?

Then the level of output is really only important based on what you want.

So whether you're talented or not is not really relevant. You're just doing for your own satisfaction.

Is your goal to sell a product or service?

Then the level of the output needs to be consistent with what the market demands.

And the good news is the market is really large with a lot of price points.

The odds of finding a customer needing something where you're at on the outcome side is actually pretty good.

Now the higher you are on the outcome side, the fewer people you're competing with and so the more you can charge.

This means hard work can move you up in the marketplace even without natural ability.

What do you think? I'd love to hear in the comments below.

And as I was looking at this topic, I ran across a couple videos that I thought you might find interesting. I'll leave a link to them down in the description.

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