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Waiting to Ship according to Steve Jobs

I am listening to Steve Job’s biography written by Walter Isaacson.  Here is one thing that has really resonated with me as I have listened along.

Steve Jobs never shipped anything that he personally wasn’t 100% happy with or he wouldn’t personally purchase himself.

So the thought occurred to me, why do I ship, publish, execute, on my products / services I am not 100% happy with?

The book shares several stories where Steve delayed shipping his products in order to ensure it was done perfect the first time.  The most memorable story is regarding the original iPhone.  If you remember the original iPhone had glass covering almost the entire surface of the phone, which by the way was revolutionary in that day. However, according to Job’s biographer this wasn’t the case prior to shipping the product.  In the middle of the night Steve’s top designer called him and told him it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t quite right.  The glass wasn’t right.  So you know what they did?  They went back to the drawing board and figured out the right way to do it before they shipped.  They didn’t want to ship a subpar product; they wanted to ship the best product right the first time.  Even though it caused a great deal of work and delay, they got it right the first time

How do you apply this in your own context?  Let’s learn from Steve Jobs, let’s make sure we do our job right the first time before we ship that product, before we run that event, before we write that next blog post.  If we wouldn’t personally want to buy it, read it, or attend it, why would anyone else want to?

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Winning That Talent War

Technology pros want to work on projects that matter and make a difference.  They also want to work on projects / work for companies that are bigger than they are.  Sound too idealistic?  Maybe it does but no one leaves their current, well paying job, for another well paying job simply because you offer benefits and a 401K plan.  Those are standard and expected.

Michael Morell writing at WSJ seems to agree with me,

“If you expect to entice candidates who are in high-demand, you need to define and demonstrate your company culture. New hires tend to not only succeed, but also thrive in a culture that they believe in.”

The key is attracting talent to your company that believes in you and your mission.  So the moral of the story is to tell candidates about the great, big, audacious projects they will be working on at your company.  Then they may consider you.

Oh wait, what if you aren’t working on anything big and audacious?  Well… Maybe it is time to grow your box and work on projects that matter so you can attract that top talent and make a difference.

Happy hiring!

Welcome Back to Blogging

I have not been in the blogging world since about 2009. I published a book back in 2007 called The 7 Things I Wish I Knew before I Graduated, which actually started my journey into writing, speaking and blogging. Back in 2006 and 2007 I spoke at roughly 50 different colleges, universities, or school districts about careers and topics related to my book. And then my wife and I had our first child, I changed jobs, and lost focus on just about everything except changing diapers and learning how to be a father. So this blog is my way of starting over and building a new platform to help people with their career and navigating life. I have worked at the Pittsburgh Technology Council since 2002, with about a one year hiatus where I did some consulting working and training. I love working at the Council because as an organization we get to help the technology companies around Pittsburgh succeed. And because we have leaders that understand how to keep talent because they give me the freedom to work on cool stuff all the time. Hopefully this will be one of those cool things.

So what is this blog about? This blog is about career, entrepreneurship, the intersection of professional and personal life and how to make it all work, but first let me tell you a little bit more about me.

Background

Since 2002, with a short hiatus in 2008, I have worked at the Pittsburgh Technology Council leading the charge to help our 1400 member companies find great technology talent. My current title is Director, STEM Talent Acquisition, but I didn’t start there. In 2002 I was an intern at the Tech Council while attending Robert Morris University where I received a BA in marketing and business. The Council offered me a job six months before I actually received my degree. My job at the Tech Council as an intern was to connect technology employers with colleges and universities to promote a new job board the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had started. I visited colleges, talked to students, and visited companies to get them to post their jobs on the site. What is really crazy to me is that not much has changed since then. I work in the same building, work with some of the same companies, same schools, and more or less do the same thing. I still am connecting companies and job seekers and creating the environment for hiring to happen. What is the old saying, “the more things change……”

My role at the Council relates to all things talent, recruiting, workforce, hiring, HR, educational technology, and being a connector. We try to create the environment for tech companies to meet great talent, make existing talent better, and talk about best practices in the world of HR and educational technology. Yes I do dabble in the educational technology world through the planning TRETC and leading a yearly discussion on how Pittsburgh companies can ensure they have a qualified STEM workforce in the future at the STEM Summit.

Intersection of Personal and Professional

I have always been a little hesitant about mixing the world of personal and professional, but I am hoping this blog can show us that our lives do not have to be so segregated and compartmentalized. Outside of the Tech Council my life revolves around my family and my Christian faith. I feel it is important to write about both sides of my life because my life outside of work affects who I am at work. I hope to be able to write about the intersection of these two worlds. Probably not as revealingly or as controversially as Penelope Trunk does on her blog, but somewhere in the middle. When I am not at work I am very involved in my local church, in fact I received my credential to be a licensed minister within the Assemblies of God in March of 2013, I preach at Genesis Church on a somewhat regular basis. If you need to get married or buried let me know  Secondly, I am nearly done with my Masters of Divinity, with a concentration on Church History, from Regent Universities School of Divinity. For those of you not up-to-speed on divinity degrees, this is the standard degree for pastors around the world. It is also the standard master’s degree you receive before you go on to study for a PhD. Maybe one day you will have to refer to me as Dr. Driscoll….. Life is busy but it is good.

Lastly, I am married to Susie Driscoll who works at Choices Pregnancy Services just outside of Pittsburgh as their events manager, fundraiser, and office guru. We have three children, Noah, Katelyn, and one still in the womb yet to be named.
Enough about me. The goal with this blog is to help you find your career, inspire you to start a business, learn from our mistakes and experiences, and generally help you navigate this amazing journey we call life. Happy reading!

Justin
August 20th, 2013