It's tough to claim to be one of the world's best php programmers, unix gurus, or apparel e-commerce experts.
But there may not be many excellent php programmers who are also unix gurus and apparel e-commerce domain experts. For the right customer, that combination is your disruptive skill.
WALL: I not only want Perl to be a good 'glue' language, I want Perl people to be good 'glue' people.
FEED: What makes a good 'glue' person?
WALL: Let me distinguish two different kinds of joiners. You have people who will join a movement and be totally gung-ho about it. That's great. We need the cheerleaders.
But that's merely a form of tribalism. What we also try to encourage are the kind of joiners who join many things. These people are like the intersection in a Venn diagram, who like to be at the intersection of two different tribes. In an actual tribal situation, these are the merchants, who go back and forth between tribes and actually produce an economy. In theological terms we call them peacemakers.
In terms of Perl language, these are the people who will not just sit there and write everything in Perl, but the people who will say: Perl is good for this part of the problem, and this other tool is good for that part of the problem, so let's hook 'em together. They see Perl both from the inside and from the outside, just like a missionary. That takes a kind of humility, not only on the part of the person, but on the language. Perl does not want to make more of itself than it is. It's willing to be the servant of other things.
I wasn't familiar with Larry Wall; thank you for introduing me to him.
And yes - I agree that another way to think about skills is that they are interests. I often define interests as "what do I think about when I can think about anything I want." It tends to be a pretty good clue as to what we do best.
Maybe we should discuss our disruptive value-adds for high-impact verticals.
Anyway, thank you for your insight.