I met the guy who started this blog at a conference a few years back. He was there to casually make contacts with CIOs and those in the tech industry. He sponsored a dinner by getting a few friends together and asking them to bring a few friends. I was a friend-of-a-friend. At the time, and throughout dinner, I wasn't sure who was sponsoring it but I enjoyed the discussion and the food. At some point he started a discussion about the Blog and then, a month or so later, after we had a relationship established, he started a discussion about his business. Not only am I now a contributor to his Blog, but like that famous commercial says, I'm also a customer of his company!
So why don't more people get involved, participate, and build real relationships? I don't know! The alternatives really stink.
Alternative #1 Cold Calls: My telephone rings all day. Nearly every one of those calls is someone cold-calling me to make sure I'm aware of their services, to offer that they are available to contribute to my most important initiatives (that they are dying to learn of), or to suggest that I'd be doing my employer a disservice if I didn't return their call today. Get real, folks.
Alternative #2 SPAM E-Mail: My inbox similarly overflows. No, I don't have "10 minutes" to chat with you. Talk about "wham-bam"! When I delete all the cold-call e-mails, I'm down to just a few meaningful e-mails each day. Busy executives must focus their time and energy. Stop wasting ours.
But alas, there is a mutually supportive alternative:
There are plenty of opportunities for those in the generally-described vendor community to get involved in the tech community, support it, and build real relationships. The money spent on the constant barrage of phone calls and the ridiculous e-mails can be redirected toward meaningful industry participation. That's getting out and doing things, contributing, meeting people and building relationships. From sponsoring an event to buying a table at a fund-raiser, speaking at an event to share your insights, creating a peer networking opportunity (that doesn't require someone to sit through a sales pitch), connecting acquaintances and friends over a casual dinner (that doesn't involve a sales pitch), all of these and more are available to you. Take the opportunity to do it.
The blog guy (who is now a good friend) doesn't only hold a dinner at a conference, he is involved throughout the community. We do many such things together because we both see the value in involvement and contribution to the industry. Who do I call and promote internally within my company, when we have a need? Yep. Him. Why? Not because he's a back-slapping buddy, but because he's built a solid relationship, contributes to the community, and actually has a good track record in his professional space.
Similar relationships are there for the making - just get involved!
by Mr. CIO On-Point