I like the luck surface area analogy for this.
Take a rectangle. Side A is "Quality of work". Side B is "How many people know about it". The surface area – A*B – is your luck and opportunity.
If you do amazing work and nobody knows about it, your luck is zero.
If you do terrible work and everyone knows about it, your luck is zero.
A square would be equal balance of A and B, which is okay but not to everyone's liking. You can get the same surface area with 2A and 0.5B. You can get a huge surface area with 2A and 1B.
For HN types, optimizing for big A and just enough B is easiest. We tend to err on the side of not enough B.
In this case, you also get the benefit that both of you can get credit for the same work. Everyone will know them as "the guy who knows people who get things done" (i.e., good manager/leader) and you'll get credit as a great individual contributer. There's no competition for credit here.
It gets even better if the few people who know you as "their guy for X" are social supernodes--while we're all only 6 degrees of separation from each other, it's actually because a small percentage of us know tons of people, while the average is much less. If you become the "guy for X" for one of these supernodes, you're basically the "guy for X" for anyone who would ask them "hey, do you know a guy for X?"
In my career, I've had two of those types of people know me and my work--and between the two of them, they have generated almost every opportunity I've had in the past 10 years.
I could spend 50% of my time networking, and I doubt it would generate as much value as adding just one more social supernode that knows my work.
The other is a sales guy / stoner type, who always seems to have been to every new bar and restaurant and already know the owners by the time I've heard of the place.
These descriptions are just the two I know--but you get the idea. They genuinely value people, so it's not a chore for them to know people, and they never really "network". They just like people.
There's actually quite a lot of people with these kinds of traits. The trick, which is harder, is finding ones you respect and get along with, so you (the relative introvert) will keep up your end of the relationship.
A lot times, I see skilled specialists look down on the more generalists/people-oriented people as being some form of incompetent. Compared to the specialist in their field, they always are. The thing that makes these 2 special to me is that they're humble about their limitations in a way that makes really respect them. They're definitely not blowhards.
I don't agree. The problem with "how much you self promote your work" is that if you're not good at promoting your work then you'll still be at, or near, 0. Whereas "How many people know your work" focuses on the outcome. Nearly everyone is promoting their work, not all of which gets noticed. How will you do it in a way that gets noticed?
A perfect example of a -2 X 5, zero work done but great presentation, now the guy is infamous in our circle and no one would recommend him to be hired anywhere.
Knowing what should and should not be implemented (where to go) may be more important than being able to move in random directions.
Once requirements are clear, the implementation becomes easier.
Perhaps, the guy should be in the product team, not in devs.
Amazing work requires focused effort over time, first to complete, and then for lots of people to discover it.
And the time dimension is not linear, but has an acceleration. The more amazing the work, the longer it will take to complete, and during this time acceleration of people knowing about it will be near zero.
But once completed and made public, the more amazing it is the faster the acceleration of discovery.
Well, really, it’s less than zero, since now you also have a bad reputation you’ll need to dig out of. :)
But I don't think that implies the type of marketing social media apps gets you is valuable. For instance, I'd think that giving talks at conferences would be much more valuable than trying to become a LinkedIn influencer. I think you can work on networking and marketing in a way that limits distractions.
know. Your. Audience.
Let them know , but speak to them in their terms. Communication is not a display of hubris, it’s a two way street