Sell. The famous dialogue from The Wolf Of Wall Street rings in my head; create the need, unconditionally, and make sure you have lots of supply ready. Fast decisions. Fast cars. Suit and a persuasive and smooth tongue. The battery in the phone runs out. SELL in capital letters, and you got enough success to wait.
The reality is often quite different. I have always seen myself as the “product creator”. Build something. Try to solve the problem. Iterate. Someone who is passionate about innovation, brainstorming, the concept, the lab and the prototype. One of those who can naively say that “everything is solvable with technology”. One of those who thinks Elon Musk is cool and sets aside free time to follow his rocket launches. The detail that sets him apart from me is, in addition to access to capital, having the knowledge of actually being able to write code, solder a circuit board or design advanced models in CAD.
What we have in common, however, is that we love to talk about technological innovation as an enabler and catalyst. That if we work hard together, we can achieve exponential growth and solve impossible tasks. Fly ahead of the competitor. All it takes is a lot of commitment and a bunch of talented engineers.
I perceive, this is my reality. To still be the “product creator” at heart, but let the product design be done by our heroes, the engineers. My focus is on developing my competence, the relationship with our customer.
I am automatically drawn towards having discussions with the customer. Towards the energy that I get, from sharing thoughts, knowledge and ideas. The opportunity to learn new things, every single day. Above all, I am drawn to the ability to, together with our team, working hard to support the customer’s emergent challenge, or the long-term collaboration to achieve his/hers vision.
During my career in business development, certain parts become more and more clear. My intense customer focus. Outright obsessed, according to some. I want to claim that the beginning of everything is the relationship with the individual. A genuine relationship with a genuine interest in who you are as a person, what you can do and what your needs are. We discuss the latest ideas. We discuss why we are, at the point, where we are now. We debate Elon Musk and realize that we both think Leo DiCaprio is a genius actor. We laugh. The relationship builds trust. Trust opens new exciting doors, with new discussions, new lessons learned and getting to know new people. Our technical expertise has arrived. It’s time to build the product of the future, together. A.k.a Business development,. Regardless of the definition or name of the role, it’s a part of my life.
I build new relationships almost every day. A first meetup. A phone call. A message on LinkedIn to an old colleague. Every day I realize that there is so much more to learn. Much more to be created. There is always a new idea to be processed, turned and twisted. A need that has started to grow. Most things start with a thought, how far can we take it together?
About the author:
Tomas Rydh, Account Manager på Avalon Innovation