Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Fallacy of the Technician (Part 1)

1 comment:
Not too long ago I was sitting on my business partner's bed (we live together) and we were doing one of our favorite pastimes....watching Shark Tank. 

What usually happens is we start berating the TV with exclamations, complaints, or any other form of expulsions of air. If you walked passed our room we probably sounded like we were full force watching the playoffs.

A particular episode really made me nearly stand up on her bed, and like always I was trying to point out some connections I was making with the TV and my library.

A pair of doctors had just gotten chewed up by the "Sharks" for having one of the worse pitches for their business. They had no evidence of a business model, no proof that they have or could generate income from their idea. They could barely answer the investors' questions. When the situation got heavy they naturally fell back onto the knowledge that they intrinsically had. They were educated and trained doctors, and they just knew their idea would work for their target (other doctors). 

But the Sharks were not  having that, and they got sent home.

I pointed energetically. You see, that's the "Fallacy of the Technician!"

The Fallacy

These men had probably come out on top of their class, had made it to the big leagues of their industry and become doctors, and that still wasn't enough to give them the insight into creating a profitable business model. They couldn't make the crossover from being technicians to becoming entrepreneurs. 

Over 25 years ago, a man named Micheal E. Gerber wrote a book to answer the question "why do most businesses fail?" 

He argued that most businesses were started by technicians and not entrepreneurs. A technician is basically a person with skills in a particular background. A technician can be just about anything. Since I work mostly in the fashion industry, one of the most obvious examples would be a seamstress or a fashion designer. By trade they know how to construct a garment, they know about textiles, drape, silhouettes and so forth. But knowing how to construct a garment is not the same thing as selling it.

Knowing how to do something is not the same thing as starting a business and selling what you do. If you are entrepreneur you have to wear many hats especially if you actually put your heart into your own designs. You have to budget, deal with customers and shipping management, your own website and branding, marketing and sales strategies, networking, and a thousand other things that will eat your time up. Maybe about 63% more time then your fellow non-entrepreneurial workers. Who would want to do that? According to Steve Jobs, only the insane. 

I've had some people ask me about starting their own businesses and I always explain to them there is a difference between trying to get your product sold vs trying to start your own business. When you start a business, there is sometimes very little time for you to do what you probably enjoy doing.

Unless you have that passion and enjoy having all those responsibilities of running a business then beware. The best option would to be to hire or outsource those responsibilities so you can free up time to design, or work on your product. But the truth for many of us is that it is more economical to balance these jobs in the first stages of the business. 

1 comment:

  1. Great article Brakaallahu lak ameen. It sheds a lot of light on some of the get rich schemes out there especially on the net, but has traditional core information reminding me about the basics to a lot of things. Thanks so much Ramadan Mubarak





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