Friday, December 31, 2010

Engineering competency vs. Business/Marketing competency

With engineering it is relatively easy, if you are technical, if someone can do a specific task, i.e. if that person is a good rails programmer or not. You can test and figure out what they currently know and hence what they are capable of.

We tried to start something like Startup Weekend at the Dojo or something like the Stanford Startup class. I would always get these candidates who say they "started their own business" or some statement to indicate they were supremely qualified. They all failed. Why? Because it is easy to talk and claim things. You can't test them to see if they can get things done. One person would try to delegate everything; he was very secretive and just put deadlines to tasks anticipating he would be able to define the momentum this way. Another person recruited a lot of people and got an advisory board setup but nobody wanted to sign up to participate. Neither were able to actually execute on the concept of starting something gradually with a strategy and building up from small. Like building a small part of a program and adding to it as you progress. This is easier for technical people building a computer program but to build an organization or community isn't easy or automatic. Everybody assumes this is easy until they actually do it. They look at big corporate conferences and thing if I just announce something they will come. They don't understand the strategy behind the preparation.

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