I am a Kangaroo Expert

April 9, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

That’s right. I love Kangaroos! More than life itself. I sleep in a mother’s pouch, I research them all day and I like to kiss them as this guy does in the picture below. I am the Kangaroo Expert! Fear me.

kissing a kangaroo

What’s the point of this? The point is my problem with people calling themselves experts.

I worked at Facebook, created Community Next, bring people together with Entrepreneur27 and I like people. Where in this world did I become a social network / community expert? I am not saying I don’t understand it well but is there a rule book about when people can start labeling themselves “experts.”

The best part of this rant are the people who have never done ANYTHING and somehow they are now experts in a field. Have they every slept in a Kangaroo’s pouch? Have they ever created something from scratch? Does reading a lot of books about something make you an expert?

What makes someone an expert?

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18 responses to “I am a Kangaroo Expert

  1. Joe Budde Reply

    Someone becomes an expert when they can show you some results.

    Not just lucky, its on my resume results. But some results that have been tested.

    I want numbers, stats and research that prove you are an expert. I don’t care for the Patent pending crap about your expertise. I want the live version with some numbers to back it up.

    Results.

  2. Will Kern Reply

    Coming up with the idea, executed on it, failed, rethought and refined, executed again, failed, back to drawing board for yet another rethink, executed, now has a successful product. Of course this applies to a very specific segment, but the general rules I think can be applied elsewhere. Reading all the books on something does not make you an expert, it makes you well read on the subject matter. Having lived it and learned from it makes you an expert. There are a ton of “experts” out there and people buy into them day in and day out.

    Will

  3. Atish Reply

    To me an expert is someone who is trusted and knows significantly more about subject matter than the general populous (to what degree, I don’t know). So really, it depends on your audience to determine whether or not you’re an expert. If I was to teach a Computer Science course to 1st graders, I would be an expert in that case.
    If I were to teach a CS course to an audience of MIT Ph.D. students, I would be a fool.

  4. KR Reply

    noah,
    i believe your question is answered in your opening statement.

    you became a social network/community expert in your momma’s pouch.

  5. sri Reply

    Professors are considered experts in their field even if they have no real world experience!

    Good topic. It is in the same line of young punks opening up their own companies and calling themselves CEO or CTO.

    I call myself an expert in what I am doing even if I am not because this gives the perception to my potential customers that I am one of the best.

  6. Mbwana Alliy Reply

    Being an expert is relative and all about defining boundaries- In my old line of work, Aerospace & Defense Research, we called someone a “Subject Matter Expert”- when they knew more about a subject/topic than whoever is in the room, project or community…

    Think of this way as an example- I am definitely, the expert on all things “Tanzania” within my Stanford class of 380 people (who are all very smart, knowledgeable etc…) as I am the only Tanzanian in the whole class- but transport me or extend this to people in Tanzania or the United Nations and I am no longer the expert. Its all about boundaries…

    Similarly being a CEO of your own company makes you an expert of your company, since typically you know more about that than anyone else in the internal or external…

  7. Ben Casnocha Reply

    To become an expert means to know more about something than the people around you. I’m no expert in personal finance, but to many of my friends I’m THEIR expert in personal finance since I know more than them.

    I call this creating an “expert effect”. It’s not about expertise in the absolute sense. It’s relative.

  8. Laura Allen Reply

    When I grow up, I want to be a Kagan-roo expert. (the offspring from this unholy alliance between Noah and this Kangaroo) And thank you for making it even easier to keep up with you by adding email updates! Now, I’ll never miss another Noah adventure! (Noadventure?)

  9. Sasan Reply

    An expert is someone who not only has a lot of knowledge about a topic but is also VERY passionate about it. It’s someone who gives you another view and challenges your perceptions. They don’t regurgitate information and they find new ways to tackle new problems.

    Someone who knows a lot of information about a topic but lacks passion, is a specialist. They can regurgitate anything but very rarely do they provide you with new insights.

    The expert will tell you how he touched the inside of a kangaroo’s pouch, he’ll tell you crazy stories about how hard it was for him to do, how it felt, and if was really worth it. The specialist will just tell you how to touch the inside of the pouch.

  10. Joel Mueller Reply

    At the same time, playing it extreme the other way all the time is slightly annoying. For example, guys like shoemoney.com constantly rip on people that call themselves SEOs (search engine optimizers), but Shoe himself absolutely rejects the notion that he’s a SEO, even though he’s made AdSense checks for over $150K in a month using MFA and ringtones “junk” sites. Obviously there are non-public people doing way more, but if “project manager” is so common a title, “SEO” doesn’t seem like a big deal either. At least with expert, I can understand the notion of being self proclaimed where the issue stands. It’s much easier to build respect and intrigement from people by having others build up your image. With that said, Noah, you’re “so-so” with your knowledge of online social communities. I mean, what other 25-year old has notions and carries them out like you. EVERYONE (sarcasm).

  11. Noah Kagan Reply

    I think everyone brings up a great point about relative to others. I keep thinking of Goodwill Hunting. Remember when Robin Williams asked Matt Damon if he ever smelled the inside of the Sistine Chapel…Matt had only read about it in books.

  12. hollyster Reply

    Geekwhat brings up a good quote:

    “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field.�

    –Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

    Yes I’m late in posting it, but thought it was appropos.

  13. Tim Reply

    I tried to be a monkey trainer expert, among other things, but it didn’t pan out. The baboon’s fangs were bigger than mine and it scared the bejeebers out of me 😀 I’m still trying to figure out stuff where I could be called an expert.

  14. Brandon Schwartz Reply

    Hi I’m interested in knowing some information about all of the kangaroo species. Can they thrive in cold climates in the winter time with heat and shelter? I currently am working on my cousins zoo/farm. We are thinking of properly getting a kangaroo. We own many other animals including zebra, wildabeast, and giraffes. We keep them separate for the most part. How much space doese a kangaroo need to be comfortable? It gets cold in New York so I want to make sure the kangaroo can handle the harsh winter conditions before we even consider getting one. Any other interesting details that you can tell me about a kangaroos? What is the best kangaroo that will suit my zoo especially for the winter time. Thanks looking foward to your information.