Sunday, October 01, 2006

How to Get Rich

I was having lunch the other day in the patio of my company when an engineer walked up and asked if he could share my table since every other table was occupied.

Sure. No problem.

Well, we got talking of this and that and somehow the conversation led up to how he occasionally has lunch with other engineers and they discuss ideas that they think would be great products.

But, he said, the ideas are almost all rejected. Sooner or later someone will always say about the idea: "Nah, that would have to be sold."

I laughed at this illustration of engineers' stereotypical distaste for the kind of pushy social interaction involved with sales, but the thought occurred to me what a huge opportunity this could be for the sales person who would like to start his or her own company.

So here's the secret: Turn off your overbearing social charm and get to know the engineers at your company; the working ones right down at the bottom. Hang around with them; go to lunch, let them do most of the talking, listen to their ideas, and if you don't get it, ask them to explain what they mean. They're smart and generally nice people who, while they may not always suffer fools gladly and may not always express themselves tactfully, frequently enjoy explaining topics involving their expertise and are pleased when others are interested.

So, if my point isn't obvious yet, what I'm suggesting is that you and an engineer with a great idea might make an awesome team and might build a fine company that makes a great product.

By the way, did I mention that you need to turn off your overbearing social charm?

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