The skill-sets necessary for running a business/managing a career

One interesting set of questions revolve around the skill-sets necessary for running a business/managing a career.

The highest-paid, and, most-trusted. engineers at IBM were the Sales Engineers. Engineers who had the soft skills to be able to talk with customers successfully.

These Roles/Jobs were in high demand, as they paid extremely well, but the skills were not easy to develop in a competitive corporate environment.

In that environment, the primary local competitors for the limited number of jobs, are the people around you. The colleagues that you work with every day.

So skill-sharing is a habit that few people in those environments practise.

When you are a member of a co-op, you own the business, so you have to behave like a business owner.

This means acting for the optimum long-term good of the business, all of the time.

It is in your long-term interests that the colleagues that you work with, are as skilled as possible, so your business is as resilient as possible.

Skill-sharing becomes an obvious move, as the more-skilled your co-owners are, the better the work that you can all do, and the more profitable your business will be.

Add in the fact that you personally retain more of the profits from the work that you do, and it becomes the better option… :smiley:


I appreciate this insight @BillySmith. Worth a separate thread to discuss in more depth, without overloading London Tech Week? just a thought. Personally, I’d be very happy to discuss deeper.

Another way to look at how businesses operate is to understand the Coassian approach to Economies-Of-Scale.

If you are a free-lancer working on your own, you have to book out time to do the maintenance on your equipment, and this is time where you are not earning money.

The Economies-Of-Scale advantage that large corporates have is that they can afford to employ specialists. For example, one team is tasked with understanding the computers used, and finding the best set-up for everyone. This means that they get the advantage of being able to have a dedicated team working onn their computer systems, so they are good at their specialised tasks.

This is way more efficient than every individual employee having to do the necessary research into hardware, building their own computer from scratch, and having to do all of the maintenance.

Apply this to a large number of freelancers, and you have a of of duplicated effort, that is time not spent fulfilling contracts, and time not spent earning money.

The disadvantage that the large corporates have is that when they get too large and bureaucratic, they come up with systems where one size fits nobody. Add in the competitive environment, and you get the equipment being used for status-displays, rather than the functionality.

Now put this form of economic advantage in a co-operative environment, where everyone is skill-sharing and working together, and you’ll be able to get better forms of utility, whilst retaining more of the personal profit from your time.

Yes, i’m talking in terms of economics, rather than social good, but a large number of people in the corporate environments are swayed by those arguments, and working within that frame of reference.

This means that we can show the economically-rational people that co-op’s work more effectively for individuals.

This would also mean that it’s possible to recruit from a larger pool of people, whilst giving them a chance to learn how much more pleasant the world would be when people are co-operating, rather than competing.


Yes – and I’m wondering whether there would be enough people here to start a thread on the potential for something like this to grow out of CoTech? To me, this seems not to be related to London Tech Week (to which, incidentally, I am sadly not able to go)

I split this from the London Tech Week party thread.