Sunday, January 9, 2011

Do'ers vs. Did'ers

Following up on my post about Cloud's impact on tech jobs, I had some people ask me what areas might be good for learning new skills or new technologies. Despite my crude attempt at predictions, I don't fancy myself as a prognosticator and try to avoid forecasting the future. Instead, I've started giving a slightly different brand of advice. It goes something like this...

"Start following the do'ers instead of the did'ers"

It's a fairly simple concept...

When new technologies or trends happen, the earliest adopters almost always tend to be the people writing blogs, making videos, hosting podcasts, answering community questions, organizing events and starting companies. Not only are they telling people about their passion, but they are being curious. They knock down a hurdle and realize that three more hurdles have now sprung upon. But these people don't think about those three as "hurdles", they think about them as opportunities. They usually aren't thinking about any "personal ROI" for moving into this new space, rather they are feeding their curiosity and need for accomplishment. I refer to these people as "do'ers".

The "did'ers" are people spending most of their cycles keeping the lights on. They remind you of all the things that new trends are lacking. They are important because it's better when things are on than off, but I'd argue that they probably aren't the people holding the compass that you're looking for to guide your next 3-5 years in the technology industry.

And yes I know there are a millions reasons why you might not have the time to do some of those things, life happens. But if you ask me where you should look next, I'll tell you that the curious ones take their curiosity a step farther and become do'ers.

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