This article on How Cybercriminals Recruit and Look for Skilled Developers (https://insights.dice.com/2020/02/10/how-cybercriminals-recruit-skilled-developers/) gives an interesting perspective into specialization in a very unique niche.
Quoting from the article:
A deeper look into these underground forums, whether originating in Russia or elsewhere, shows that, much like mainstream programming, certain skills are a must among cybercriminals.
For instance, Guirakhoo and his fellow researchers at Digital Shadows found that underground developers who are proficient with Python and C/C++ are currently in demand.
Many threat actors choose to specialize in one area of cybercrime, such as carding or hacking. Often threat actors become experts in one or two programming languages, dependent on the language that most suits the projects they are involved in….
Even in this out-there example, the core concepts of specialization still apply.
By specializing in a particular problem or project, you better communicate to prospective clients, “This is something I can help you solve. This is a problem I’m experienced in solving.” That benefit applies to you even if your specialization is only marketing-deep (on your website, collateral, and marketing you say “We specialize in A,” even if you also do B, C, and D).
If you want to be the more trusted option within any target market, you need to specialize in what your market cares about.
- Step 1 is figuring out what your market cares about. That could look like having a few informational conversations with other service providers or potential clients, doing a deep-read of a forum that focuses on your target market, or following another market research path.
- Step 2 is figuring out what problem/project you’re going to specialize in. Of the things that your market cares about and outcomes they want to achieve, is there a particular problem or project that appeals to you (or that you could learn to love)? Focus on that.
- Step 3 is figuring out your sub-specializations. For your problem or project of choice, what tools or resources do you need to develop a specialization in to succeed (e.g., tools, languages, methodologies, apps)?
No matter if you’re selling cybercrime-as-a-service or helping Shopify stores get found online and get more traffic, the same core steps and principles apply.
Your turn. Send back a short reply with your answers to these three questions:
- What’s your target market? Who do you help?
- What project/problem do you specialize in?
- What sub-specializations do you have that serve the projects/problems you specialize in?