Given, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, that I don’t always understand the technology of the products and services created by the high-tech start-up companies at VT KnowledgeWorks, I feel very happy to be in the good, clueless company of Guy Kawasaki.
Still, I, Anne Clelland, history major and geology minor at Virginia Tech, of many lives including information technology business owner and investor, use my ability to understand as a CEO test. Communication takes two. If I don’t get it, it’s not always about me. If I do get it, that’s a CEO who knows the complexity of his or her invention so thoroughly that a mention of a few simple parts can convey the whole.
The CEO gets extra points on the test for not becoming apoplectic when I ask, "What’s in this for me?" and "What’s in this for my cat?"
That it took the entire executive team of Shultz-Creehan–Nanci Hardwick, CEO, Kevin Creehan, President, and Jeff Schultz, CTO–to explain Friction Stir Fabrication to me makes several points. Like Guy Kawasaki, I started out clueless; that’s a good sign of a good company. And Shultz-Creehan passed my test: I got it. I got it so well that I described Friction Stir Fabrication at a party the other night, complete, I’m proud to say, with hand gestures.
And that Schultz-Creehan cared enough to try? That’s a good sign of a good company.
The quote from Kawasaki comes from the following YouTube video. Since I often use my experience in the high-tech start-up world of the "The New Economy" of the late 90s to derive insights about the Web 2.0 world (such as in posts like this one and this one), I felt heartened to see some familiar themes in his 2003 address "Advice to Entrepreneurs: Then and Now."