Finding finishers, building a team

“So, what did you tell Steve to convince him to take time out for lunch with me?” I asked Ian Garmaise as we settled into our chairs at the Village Idiot Pub. “You probably told him that I’m always on the look-out for interesting mentors,” I said. The Steve in question was Steve Mann, whose work on wearable computing had inspired my fledgling experiments with it in fourth year university, and who is unquestionably a remarkable inventor. I mentally reviewed my list of questions to see if they were up to par.

Ian reassured me that it was because he thought I might be able to help. That is, I think he meant to reassure me. I scrambled to think of what I could’ve learned that Ian would’ve thought useful.
                       
As it turned out, I did. Both Steve and Ian were particularly interested in my recent experiments with outsourcing work to virtual assistants. I told them how I asked a transcriptionist to process one of my talks, and how happy I was with the results. Steve’s got way more lectures and way more recordings than I have, and he’ll certainly have plenty of material to go through.

I also told them how I enjoy starting work and turning them over to other people to finish. This can be a liability (I’m a little scatter-brained!), but if I can team up with, hire or partner with people who are good at finishing, it’s something that can be handled. At this, Steve lit up. He was also very much a starter, and if he can get better at assembling and coordinating teams (or work with someone who is), he can get more of his inventions further along. I referred him to the transcriptionist I hired, and I also gave him a few tips on starting working relationships with contractors (small jobs at first!).

And then I had fun playing music on Steve’s hydraulophone. =D And yes, the brochure is right – it really is play. You can’t play music with water splashing everywhere and not smile. =)

Some of the things that came out of that experience were:

  • As it turns out, I do have something to share with others. More experiments mean more interesting experiences and more thoughts to share. I can help people connect the dots. =)
  • It’s a lot of fun talking to other ideas people who also practice relentless improvement.
  • … and it’s so cool talking to someone who has been playing and wondering and making things happen for decades! =)
  • … and random-ish connections like that can be tons of fun!

Thanks, Ian, for the introduction. Keep me posted – I think it would be cool to learn how to tap other people’s skills!