Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Bitter truth

Anyone who knows me, knows that I used to loathe MBAs/Marketing guys (well Marketing ppl I didn't know). Yes.. I was prejudiced, sort of envious of their life and had a feeling of being hoodwinked everytime I dealt with them. I think it's time for me adapt to nature of the world rather than question it. So here's my open apology to all you MBAs out there..

I never was and probably never will be a glib, suave, sophisticated salesman. What one wants to be in life depends on his priorities..its a binary choice; either one aims to be highly creative or one aims to be extremely rich. There is no middle ground. Although your priorities can change over time. You cant be rich and creative.. and mind you the rich will mostly take the credit for the work done by the creatives.

I'll restrict my domain to engineering as a creative work as I can relate well to it. An engineer creates great product, a salesman sells "not so good" products but it sells better than the "great" product. You could call the salesman evil for selling a "not so good" product or you could call an engineer incompetent for not being able to sell his product. The truth is that it does not matter and is not going to change anytime in the future. The salesman will always be on the deck of the cruise sipping a martini while the engineer would be in the engine room doing a performance study of the isothermal combustion inside the turbine... you get my drift. And at the end of the day, when the engineer comes up with a new design for an efficient engine, the salesman takes most of the credit just by doing a presentation (and mind you.. does better than the engineer).

Lemme support my verbiage above with some examples:
  • We all know Shah Jahan built Taj Mahal... who was the architect?
  • Windows was built by Microsoft(most people assume its Bill Gates :P )... who designed it?
  • Did you know who Ted Hoff is? (inventor of Microprocessors)
  • Did you know who Per Brinch Hansen was? (Inventor of OS)
Unless you are a "fact geek".. you might not know the answer to any one of them... and you know what, these guys didn't care. They are necessary for the well being of human race. We should be thankful to each one of them.. from the one who made fire to the ones who are making laser propelled space crafts. We should also be thankful to the salesmen.. they are the ones who are bringing these products to the masses. How would the world now be if we didn't have a Bill Gates mass producing and selling PC softwares? Each product defines a milestone in technological evolution and there is no looking back (Think iPhone, iPODs etc).

In conclusion when a large corporation speaks to you (urges you to buy its product), the voice behind the loudspeaker is that of an engineer.. the loudspeaker itself is the salesperson. You need both of them to convey a message to 10+ billion people in the world.

So all the MBAs out there.. if I have ever judged you by your good looks, smooth talk, a balanced life and money, I realize that it was not your fault.. it was and is my choice. Accept my humble apologies...

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