I’ve been thinking on this topic off and on for some time trying to figure out how to write such a post and not seem like a complete butt kisser*. I have since realized that I’m cool with kissing butt when it’s called for, so I took that constraint off and wrote the post anyway.
As luck would have it, I’m in a very fortunate situation having an awesome strategist to work with. I seem to be very lucky in this regard in that this is not the first time this has happened. I consider a strong, smart strategist the most important thing to be successful in a development role. Why? Well quite simply, you can never build every cool idea you have. Being able to find the right set of priorities separates the men from the boys (as it were).
The single most important thing [for me], in a strategist is when they “call it.” When they see around the corner where I cannot and help convince me which way to go. The bigger the idea, the more foresight, the better. Being able to get to market with something that is innovative is a huge rush for us nerds.
I have mentioned before that I’m not really an innovator myself, I’m a problem solver. Being pointed in the direction of the right problems is critical when this is your weakness.
The question is, how do you find such a person? That’s tricky since you have to be able to trust someone who knows things you don’t. Looking into their past track record is useful but finding someone you respect is paramount.
So here’s to all the great strategists out there — you really do rock my world. For the combination of a great development team and an insightful strategist is really unstoppable.
*My attempt to use non-offensive language has taken me to unchartered territory, as those of you who know me will attest. That said, I’ve recently learned that my 3-year-old can spell the word b-u-t-t (thanks to her sister) so it has re-entered my vocabulary this week, if only to say “we don’t need to talk like that.”