Sam Romero

Bare minimum.

November 24th, 2006 by Sam Romero

Some 90% of small businesses fail within the first five years. The ones that beat the odds do so for any number of reasons, not the least of which is luck. But in addition to issuing a rabbit’s foot (or vegetarian-friendly four-leaf clovers) to each employee, the wise executive seeks every day to bring statistic-defying value to his business.

I argue that there is a baseline of competence–a bare minimum–that you must meet to earn your paycheck. Namely, you must be damned good at your job. If you’re in sales, you better sell the hell out of your product or service. Accountants should be accurate to the penny. Marketing folks (the game I play) must be detail-oriented, cost-conscious, and have a complete understanding of their product, their customers, and their competitive landscape.

But kicking ass at your job just gets you in the door. Kick-ass executives are a dime a dozen. I’ve worked with an endless supply of smart, talented, and ambitious people in four-person startups and in FORTUNE 10 companies.

If you want to stand apart, you must be more than that. You must find a way to help your company succeed against the odds. You must have the knowledge, the insight, and the will to guide your company and your people to destinations they otherwise could not reach. This is what I seek to do.

Categories: performance
Comments: 1 Comment »

Great idea.

November 17th, 2006 by Sam Romero

You’ve got a great idea for your Web site. An outstanding idea. An idea that will grab your Web site visitors by their eyeballs, seize control of their brains, and make them want, need, SCREAM WITH DESIRE to buy your product. It’s a nifty idea.

You take your idea and put it down on paper. In a memo. Great memo. Brilliant memo. Show it to your boss. Boss loves it. Gets excited. Starts to wiggle. Sends several emails. Calls a meeting for the next day. Wants you to present the idea in PowerPoint.

You put the idea into PowerPoint. Make some slides. Informative slides. Clear slides. Put in some projections. Show it at the meeting. Smash hit. Salivation all around. Revolutionary idea; sales will go through the roof; bonuses to be had by all; promotion coming your way. Boss whispers “VP material” as you leave the room.

Sitting in your cube. IT guy walks by. Call him over, show him the slides. Explain the idea. Explain the potential. Explain how this idea is going to put your company on the map.

IT guy looks. Blinks once. Twice. Asks some questions. Distracted by cricket in the corner of cubicle. What do you think, you ask. Can we do it, you ask. IT guy gets dodgy. Difficult to implement, he explains. Complicated technology. Problems galore.

Cold shiver down your spine. What kind of problems, you ask? Something I need to change in the plan? I can change it. I’ll do anything. Want to make this idea work.

No, no, much too difficult, IT guy says, getting warmed up. Not practical. Couldn’t get HTML talking to SQL without ASP, don’t want to mess with .NET. ODBC problems, he says delightedly. SSL needed, sensitive data. No support for 128-bit. Starts to turn red. Getting agitated. Completely impossible. Bad idea. Too much work. Pie in the sky. Forget about it. IT guy wanders on down the aisle.

You slump in your chair. Open up PowerPoint. Review your notes. Reflect on your idea. A sound idea. A rational idea. As of this moment, a dead idea.

How, oh how, does this happen?

Categories: interactive
Comments: 3 Comments »

About Sam Romero

Thanks for visiting. I'm a Senior Marketing Executive, Creative Director, Writer, Editor and Interactive Producer with nineteen years of experience marketing FORTUNE 500 companies. I've spent time at advertising agencies and within corporations. I'm open to freelance work or a full-time position in a wide range of roles...

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