Originally published on the Shirlaws Business Coaching Blog, 2007-2010 .
You’ve employed a CTO. There’s a dedicated IT function, and better still an outsourced IT team on contract to provide regular maintenance and proactive support. But have you got a Business Geek you can talk to?
If the answer is ‘No’, you’re probably already asking what exactly a Business Geek is, and why one might be important to your business staying ahead. It’s still not a common phrase – here in Australia Google only returns 7 matches; in the UK it’s a meager 115 – but it’s an idea that’s finding traction in those businesses that look to intersect the best business practices with the latest technology support.
I came across ‘Business Geek’ here, where blogger Brian Halligan describes people “that are passionate about business issues like marketing and strategy, much like technology geeks are passionate about technology”. He is so invested with the concept that his business created a community where self-confessed business geeks (including yours truly) could share stories of interest (it’s still in beta, but growing).
So if a Business Geek is someone who will seek out cutting-edge IT to apply to existing business strategies, or even create new market niches, why does your established business need one?
Think about this – twelve years ago, breakthrough businesses had a website. Eight years ago, those businesses with personalised email addresses stood out. Pretty soon, you’ll have to decide whether to ban Facebook or set up on Second Life? Determine whether to go Web 2.0, or bury your head in the sand? If your passion isn’t here, finding a Business Geek will help you and your business catch the next tech wave rather than being swamped by it.
So How? You don’t need to recruit one to your business – after all, a Business Geek’s interests are not necessarily in daily support, but rather in testing what’s new within a business framework. If you like the thought of bouncing ideas around with someone who loves technology as much as they love business, then go looking to create a relationship with someone who matches that description.
You should also consider signing up to Daily Hub, and before you close this window and forget about it, be sure to sign up for my RSS feed (What / How). There will be more Business Geek information in future posts.
Are there any other Business Geeks out there wanting to introduce themselves? Or personal experiences applying geek learnings to your business? Leave a comment, because I and others would be interested to find out more.