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Discussion on: I'm Vivek Saraswat, investor in Dev Tools + Infra startups @ Mayfield and former product leader @ Docker/VMware/AWS. AMA!

lbeul profile image

Hey Vivek, I'm fascinated by your story! What is your advice for young people who're just starting off their career in tech? Niche down into on specific domain (namely Tech, Design, Product) and focus on that or going as broad as possible?

For example, right after school I did an apprenticeship in a German bank. Right after that, I went back to school to get my A levels for being able to study computer science. Thanks to my apprenticeship, I'm good at valuating ideas and all that product/management stuff, but I'm just a mediocre developer atm. I'm going to got the university this summer and I don't really know what to focus on - either side hustle hard, build my own startup and treat my university half-hearted or focus completely on university and cs skills.

What would you do?

vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Louis! I subscribe to the T-shaped Skills theory of development. Basically, the idea is to develop deep base in a specific area, while broadening your skillsets in related areas to augment this base. I also believe in having a growth-oriented mindset meaning that one's traits are not set and can improve through effort and persistence. I don't know the European system as well but all can I say is that I didn't treat my university studies half-heartedly; I focused on them hard, and then when I started working, I focused on that hard as well. If you have a burning startup idea that really excites you and you want to build it, that's one thing. But there is something to be said about developing the skill sets that will help make that dream a reality.

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