This is Judi Uttal signing back in for my next post for the Technology Marketing Center.
When I chose a career in technology marketing, I thought that I had a golden ticket. Armed with a BS in Computer Science from UCLA and MBA from Carnegie Mellon, wasn’t I armed for success? But in looking back at a 30 year career, I have learned a thing or two. So today I will share three technology marketing career takeaways on the trials and tribulations of technology marketing:
#1: Buggy Whiplash: Technology marketing is a broad discipline. We actually place bets based on our interests, when we start our career, and let’s face it luck. Operating systems, processors, networking, storage, CRM systems, mobile, telecom, and SaaS -- what is your specialty? The scary part about selecting a technology is that technology becomes obsolete. Watch for technology transitions, or you will experience “buggy whiplash” when your specialty is End-of-Lifed. I have seen individuals make the jump from storage to security; from enterprise software to SaaS, but its best to make these transitions early. If you wait, employers won’t see the relevance in your resume. Choose wisely. Is this technology going to be huge or is it just hype? Now it’s time to pick the right company.
#2: Corporate Life Cycle Crashes: A corollary to buggy whiplash is tracking corporate life cycles. Start Up, Growing Company, Established Enterprise, Acquisition Target, Pathetic Little Company (PLCs as I call them or small companies with no future), and Closed for Business. These are company transitions, and with each transition there are winners and losers. As technology moves through stages, so do the companies who are betting on these trends. Do you know where your company is on its path? Do you know when to jump ship or are you so loyal that you are on the RIF-cycle (Reduction in Force)?
#3: There’s No Place like Silicon Valley: There was a critical point in my career where I chose where to plant roots. I chose Orange County. I realize now that this was a career limiting move. The opportunities in Southern California are dwarfed by those in Northern California and I can only imagine what they are like in Denver or Austin. When you want a new job or when you want to know what is happening in technology, you are much better off being in San Jose.
So these are three simple things to think about when plotting out your career in high tech marketing. Avoid buggy whiplash, manage the corporate life cycle, and make sure you live where the action is.