The party is ON! Join us at TNW Conference 2021 in Amsterdam for face-to-face business!

The heart of tech

This article was published on December 26, 2016

    Stop coveting the skills you don’t have

    Stop coveting the skills you don’t have
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    Once upon a time, an former manager of mine and I were in a meeting with another colleague. This meeting included the most beautifully formatted document.

    And it was immediately clear to me that presenting manager knew exactly how every feature in Word worked – page numbering, a date stamp on every page, footer notes… There was even an index based on every numbered title, paragraph and subheader. No paragraph left unformatted. No detail left unnumbered.

    I was completely impressed by the detail. And then grew uneasy as I began to realize how little I knew about making Word documents.

    Afterwards, I explained to my manager how impressed I was with our colleague’s document skills. He turned to me and said “Look, you always envy the skills you don’t have. But all this guy did was take a Microsoft Word course one day. The document is nicely formatted, but it’s still just 16 pages of unimaginative dribble. He has no creativity or unique insights, but rather creates these elaborate bullshit documents to make himself look better.”

    I’m sure I stood there with my jaw on the floor, but realized he had a point. Every skill you don’t possess becomes impressive to you. And the skills you do have you take for granted.

    Maybe now is a good time to pat yourself on the back and think about the things you achieved in life, and appreciate the skills that are unique to you. Go ahead, feel good about yourself today. You’ve earned it.


    This is my introduction text for last week’s issue of our TNW Weekly update. You can read the whole newsletter here, or sign up to receive your own copy.