Who you know or What you know?

I have been amazed how helpful so many of our friends and acquaintances have been as we try to launch Fiasco.   It seems that every step we go to take there is a connection to someone who is happy to lend a hand and offer genuine advice.   And this even includes folk from competing wine companies!   It is so much easier to communicate with others and make progress when there is an initial connection, even if it’s a cousin’s friend’s workmate’s daughter 🙂  The only down side of all this ‘networking’ is that you start to see marketing and business opportunities in every social setting and it can become hard to switch off from work.   You also wonder whether your friends will see you as always looking at ways to ‘use’ them for the sake of the business.

As a teacher, it also gets me to thinking about what we value most in our schools.  There is obviously an emphasis on what you know.  And of course this is important.  Aaron, for example, has to know how to make wine.  But, how much do we value social skills, the ability to relate well with others, the ‘who you know’ bit.   It is invaluable in business and I’m guessing it’s pretty vital for a lot of jobs too.  Maybe the student with the report comment “tends to be easily distracted by those around her” or “too chatty in class”  is destined to be a marketing whizz.


3 Responses to “Who you know or What you know?”

  1. October 16, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I lots of companies it’s the ‘people’ people (like management, sales and HR) who earn the big bucks and the tech-heads who earn peanuts in darkened rooms. The tech-heads might know a lot of tricky stuff but it would seem that there’s more demand (and therefore, money) for people who ‘get’ people.

  2. 2 Rachel
    October 16, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    You might just be on to something there, interesting thoughts. Not so sure you’re totally right though Damian, having worked in recruitment for a while (forgive me!) there were many marketing people who earned next to nothing while ‘techies’ earned a fair bit – just depends on how rare your skills are & whether or not they’re needed.

  3. October 17, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Interesting. Perhaps we’ve experienced different industries or different economic times. Either way, your supply-and-demand summary explains it perfectly.

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