I received my invitation to attend the annual Dinosaur's Luncheon.
The luncheon is for sales veterans of the New England electronics industry. It is a great way to reconnect, have a drink and reminisce with OEM, Rep and Disti colleagues. Some are retired, while others remain active in their careers. Some would like to be working, but the doors of opportunity are now closed.
In the semiconductor/electronics industry, CHANGE has been the one constant in our careers. At the luncheon, we tell war stories about the companies that each of us worked for, or represented. With few exceptions (Intel, TI, Motorola, AMD), most suppliers and distributors are dinosaurs - failed, merged or acquired. Most of the companies that were the lifeblood of Route 128's technology economy, no longer exist. Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), Wang Laboratories and Polaroid are dinosaurs. Extinct!
Since I am not active in semiconductor sales or management, I am free from the activities and responsibilities that dominated my life. Paraphrasing Joni Mitchell, I can now look at the industry "from both sides now." Extinction takes place when external forces impact our economic ecosystem. We all know that Technology Sales is not what it was 20, or even 10 years ago. Change requires us to react and adapt, or technology salesreps will lose relevance, or become extinct. Everything in our industry has changed. EVERYTHING
It is troubling to realize that the tectonic shifts in our industry were not created by, or for, SalesReps. We seem to be the collateral damage of decisions and strategies that were made by our employers and principals.
The semiconductor industry is the engine of innovation. Regrettably, sales methodologies have been immune to innovation. Forty years ago, the industry added manufacturer's reps to its sales arsenal. Since then, we have been tweaking and retweaking this one sales model ad nauseum. That's why salesreps are paranoid. Andy Grove, Intel CEO, penned the phrase "Only the Paranoid Survive."
What can we do to alter the course of meteors that are impacting our careers?
I believe that a new paradigm must be added to the sales model.
Dovetail 8 was created to respond to the meteoric changes in our industry.
Stay tuned, and I will tell you more in the weeks ahead.