Technical Know How: Ask For Help

The summer is officially over; I’m back to Business School and back to the daily grind. After a weekend in the Cape (where I received one of the worst sunburns ever), I’ve begun one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever been a part of in my life. This school year I am working on a project with a group of five engineering students to develop an educational mobile application for higher education students. The con of the project is that I have to pay for the college credits earned while working on it, but the pro is it’s an opportunity of a lifetime. I hope by working on this project I will solve a question that I’ve struggled with in the past: How does someone with no experience in engineering create a technical product?

The simple answer is: He Doesn’t! No one person can possess all the information in the world; at times people need to call upon others to help. Repeatedly we see examples of leaders rounding themselves out by hiring complementary pieces. Two vibrant examples occurred in the past month when Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, and John McCain chose Sarah Palin as their respective Vice Presidential Candidates. Obama and McCain’s decisions were based upon choosing a partner who encompassed the characteristics and knowledge they lacked. As entrepreneurs we need to acknowledge that we can only be experts in so many things; we have time constraints and other areas that need our attention. I hope the 5 engineering students I am partnering with teach me as much as I can understand about the engineering and code writing needed to create mobile applications, but I know that I will never be an expert engineer or code writer. The 5 engineering students complement my marketing, accounting, sales, organizational, and leadership skills. I would find the task of creating a mobile application on my own almost impossible, just as the 5 engineering students would find bringing an emerging technology to market. The team dynamic of a complementary knowledge base is one main reason why I am excited about this project. I know I cannot create a sophisticated technical product by myself, so in a way I am asking others for help in this opportunity of a lifetime.

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