Online Going Begging . . .
The headline "Shortage
of Online Talent" hints at the issue. A recent spate of articles indicates
how difficult it is to find people with business savvy who also understand the
online world. Few people steeped in the business world also have online experience.
The chasm needs bridging and looking at history may provide some clues.
A decade ago, computer companies were in the same boat. Management skills were
needed but few computer people had them. To bridge the gap, computer companies
looked to companies with other types of products. For example, what did John
Sculley know of computers? Sculley had made a reputation for himself as
a top executive pushing products for Pepsi. How was that experience related
to Apple Computers? It wasn't.
A keen executive mind, so a theory goes, can manage any company regardless of
the product. This theory may have its limitations when it comes to totally new
kinds of products. Perhaps the theory relates best to traditional companies.
Certainly Apple Computer was no traditional company with no ordinary product.
What made this work was that Sculley came across the country to that fateful
interview in Cupertino with more than a keen executive mind. He had a glimpse
of the new world personal computers would create. Sculley was able to define
a relationship to this new world. He was capable of vision. Bingo!
Today the major online services feel they are being held back by the absence
of talent. This may be an example of limited thinking however. These companies
may need to look for balance as well as focus; vision as well as experience.
This rarely happens, however.
Usually, companies, to process and facilitate business, hire very young people
who work for less and who have little business management experience. This is
not to say that these new hires are not bright or have poor credentials. Rather,
none of them has ever "met a payroll" or agonized over the bottom line.
In short, they are green.
America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy are
firms who complain of not having the needed talent. Other firms will join the
chorus soon enough. It may be true. There may be a shortage of online talent.
But more likely it is a gap that needs bridging with combinations of executive
smarts and vision.
What can you do?
Before you apply to one of these companies, learn about the company. Study its
product and look for areas that relate to your management skills or online talents.
You will naturally want to focus on a particular area of interest and study
it. However, you must also develop vision. Do you have a sense of where this
company is going? When you can walk in for an interview and you can talk
about where the company is going as if you were its president, you have it made.
It's a good idea not to get bogged down in the details
of "job hunting."
You can use tools like those supplied by Adams
Media Corporation to help you manage the routine of "job hunting."
Keep the big picture in mind. Don't be afraid to bring your expertise and your
vision to this new world of online. These companies have needs--what do you
have to offer?
NOTE. In future segments we will
review the extraordinary new tools available from Adams Media Corporation. We
will also be busy uncovering career opportunities at the various services including
America Online, CompuServe, Prodigy, and Microsoft Network.
In the meanwhile, when its reliable job listings you need, try
Career City supplied by Adams Media Corporation.
1996 URLy Sylke All Rights Reserved CREDITS