Heading to Rollins & Goodbye Dodgeball

I’ll be heading to visit my alma mater, Rollins College, at the end of January for the annual President’s Council Meeting. While there, the Crummer Graduate School of Business, part of the school, has asked me to come speak to both the school’s marketing team, as well as to students.

This all began when the Donald Hale, Director of Alumni Relations & Development, called to talk to me about working in technology. See, when you have a small school in Florida, it’s inevitable that you’re going to end up producing MBA students to feed into the local economy, which in Florida is predominantly focused on tourism, real estate and finance.  One of the first questions Donald asked me was one the students keep asking him: Should I be on social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook when I’m looking for a job?

My emphatic reply was “Absolutely. In fact, if you’re not findable online, in this world, who wants to hire you?” Which is true. In the webby world, not having an online presence can be a real detriment to your career. If you don’t use the tools you’re marketing, developing, or analyzing, or those that complement or complete yours, why are you in this industry? One of the reasons that I moved to San Francisco 13 years ago was to be around people creating a future world view and the tools with which to live that life. Being passionate about the industry in which you work makes you not only a better employee, but also makes you a happier person.

This visit, and planning remarks to share with students and faculty, comes in a week in which a much-beloved, but little used web & mobile service called Dodgeball announced its shutdown. (Well, to be clear, its corporate overlords did.) This topic has been well covered by those closer to the product. However, that clear feeling of caring about a product and mourning its loss shows that a group of folks created a product borne of being engaged in what people want. One of the things I want to share with the Rollins folks is the idea that knowing what’s happening in an industry involves more than just reading the latest WSJ or Fortune magazine, but living and breathing alongside what’s transpiring. It just so happens that the products being created in the realm of technology are things that touch our daily lives.  

I look forward to sharing some of the online tools that I use on a regular basis with these students and how it can enhance their online presence, while being cognizant of the fact that many do want to go into more traditional fields, which may frown upon excessive displays of personal information.  However, given that more and more people do just this, it may be that our social mores must adjust. Something to discuss in a few weeks!