Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is your sense of entitlement?

In my last post I mentioned that Altium have stirred the pot with their new pricing model. Well now they've gone even further with a web-based advirtising campaign and billboard promotion. The text is a little hard to see in the photo so I've included it here:

1,000,000 people overseas can do your job
What makes YOU so special?
Altium. Next generation electronics design solutions.

Not surprisingly, its caused a rise out of more than a few people with one person stating that Altium should sack their ad agency and the foolish executives who approved this indignity. It is certainly a stark departure from the "You're so special" sort of advirtising that we're used to seeing.
But it has got me thinking about the sense of entitlement that we have around our work, our skills and our job. What is at the core of our indignation over someone overseas taking our job?
Karl Faase, a regular "life moments" radio presenter, recently had this to say on one of the local community radio stations:

The present generation has grown up believing that every child needs good self esteem. Every child needs to believe in themselves and their ability. But is there a potential down side to this attitude? Over the past 20 years American children have grown up being told they are special and can achieve anything and now there seems to be a growing gap between American kids’ self esteem and their abilities.
In a study of maths skills tests among students in eight nations, Americans ranked lowest in overall competence and Koreans highest, but when researchers asked the students how good they thought they were, the results were exactly opposite; Americans highest, Koreans lowest.
We need to be realistic about our abilities. As writer Steve Salerno says “In the grand scheme of things, knowing one's limitations may be even more important than knowing one's talents.”

When it comes to designing electronics products, the days are gone when our value was implicit in the degree or qualifications we had earned. We have jobs for the simple reason that we add value to the companies that employ us.  It is an issue of economics and not entitlement. The only defence is continuous innovation.

1 comment:

  1. ...and one day, even surgens will be outsourced, thanks to the work of these bright engineers. Give it 20-50 years (maybe even less for minor surgery) and an MD in india will perform a procedure over the internet, controlling a robot in an operating theatre. People don't like the thought of it, but it is sure to happen.