The Power of Collaboration

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I am currently reading a life enhancing book, titled "Avoid Boring People". It is a memoir by James D. Waltson.

Reading it has opened my eyes to the power of collaboration. The value of being in the right community.

James D. Watson had at a young age of 34 won a Nobel Prize in Medicine. He went after all his research inclined passions. He was the sort of person you would consider unsocial and book-worm. The last person you would consider getting advice from on having a socially rich life. And someone you would least expect to tell you that there is no value in being a loner. Yet his memoir is filled with very many deep lessons on life - social and career. 

Most emphatic of the lessons he shared is the power of collaboration. He explained how it would have been impossible for him to discover the true structure of the DNA, which later won him the Nobel Prize, had he not partnered with other bright scientists and gotten insights from a lively community of gene researchers. That even in the cutting edge science community where individuals (and not teams) are celebrated and there is an ambiance of competition, you can't go far by being a loner. You have to leverage the varied expertise of other scientists and let equally bright minds critic your work before you consider it done. And that the fear of having someone steal your idea or beat you to a discovery shouldn't push you to the extreme of being a loner.

He also shared from his life on why it is much valuable to pick a small, new and growing niche doing a work that is in some ways ahead of the present time. Whether for business or research. He also advised that one should learn to separate popularity from value. The most beneficial community is usually not the most popular. The ideas you need will often not come from a famous man. The partner you need should be picked based purely on value.

The book is one of the best books I have read in a long while.


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