Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

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Specializing in FileMaker: Does It Make Sense?

I've been reading quite a bit lately about how, in order to be truly successful, businesses need to specialize. I'm not going to go into all of the reasoning behind that in this post, because it's been covered in so many other places. I do agree that specializing makes sense, and I think that's true regardless of how big or small a business is, and regardless of what industry they serve. So that got me thinking. What do I specialize in? FileMaker, mostly. And it has worked well for me. I've made a good living "doing" FileMaker work (whatever that means). But does specializing *in* FileMaker really make sense? The more that I think about it, the more I think the answer is, "Probably not." Saying that I specialize in FileMaker is kind of like saying that I specialize in a hammer. And worse, a particular *type and brand* of hammer. “Hi, I’m Tim. I’m an expert in the "Craftsman 16 oz. Curved Claw Hammer.” (Yes, there really is such a thing.) Instead of focusing on a particular tool, I think I should specialize in solving a particular type of problem. The tool - or tools - that I use are important. But they shouldn't be what I specialize in. So what does all of this mean? I’m not sure just yet, but there’s something here. I feel the need to figure out what my specialty is, or could be. I need to specialize in something that fits my skills, experience, and interests. And a specialty that's in demand, too. In many ways, I feel as though I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.