[ There’s a premium to being the best ]

Hearing a succession of mediocre singers does not add up to a single outstanding performance. – Quote by Sherwin Rosen

In other words, talent is not a commodity you can buy in bulk and combine to reach the needed levels: There’s a premium to being the best.

Therefore, if you’re in a marketplace where the consumer has access to all performers, and everyone’s “talent” value is clear, the consumer will choose the very best. Even if the talent advantage of the best is small compared to the next rung down on the skill ladder, the superstars still win the bulk of the market.

The rapid rise of communication and collaboration technologies has transformed many other formerly local markets into such marketplaces. Today the small company looking for a computer programmer or public relations consultant has access to an international bazaar of talent in the same way that the advent of the record store allowed the small-town music fan to bypass local musicians to buy albums from the world’s best bands.

An increasing number of individuals in our economy are now competing with the rock stars of their sectors.

Taken and slightly edited from the great book on Deep Work by Cal Newport