Why ‘T-shaped’?


I’ve been reading a lot lately about how the ad industry is after ‘T-shaped’ people. I can’t help but think, for an industry that is supposed to be ‘creative’, calling something ‘T-shaped’ is the most terrible and literal metaphor available.

If you aren’t familiar with the ‘T-shaped’ concept, the idea is to have a depth of knowledge in one area, represented by the vertical stroke, and a broad knowledge of a lot of areas, represented by the horizontal stroke. YEUGHC

Instead, I propose we use a something much more bad-ass: A ‘Swiss-army kitchen knife wielding’ person.

‘Why a Swiss-army kitchen knife,’ you ask?

A Swiss-army kitchen knife has a big, bad-ass blade that you can wield like a boss; in other words, it is your depth of knowledge in one area.

A Swiss-army kitchen knife also has lots of little tools that aren’t very good for much; in other words, your broad knowledge in lots of areas. You can use the mini-serrated-knife/Photoshop, but you wouldn’t cut down a tree/do serious work, with it.

So from now on we should all be bad-ass ‘Swiss-army kitchen knife wielding’ people, not lame ‘T-shaped’ people.