How to Use Startup Skills in a Corporate Job
In Chapter 9 of 15 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, Ramsey Pryor answers "What Skills Did You Learn Working at a Startup That Have Been Most Useful at IBM?" Pryor, who came to IBM via an acquisition, finds his colleagues appreciate resourcefulness and an outsider perspective. Pryor is currently a product management executive at IBM focused on cloud-based communication and collaboration software. Previously he was VP Product Marketing at Outblaze, acquired by IBM.
Erik: What skills did you learn working at a startup that have been most useful in your work at IBM? Ramsey: What people comment to me at IBM, that I guess makes people who come in from a fresh acquisition different, is we’re used to think -- I guess being maybe more resourceful in a way and as I said I think that when you’re in startup mode or when you are in a smaller company, if there is something that isn’t being done or that needs to be done that you don’t know how to do, you just wing it, and you make it up. I think that is a trait you don’t see much from people who’ve been in a large company for a long time. Mainly because if you don’t know how to do it there is someone who knows and you maybe by winging it, you might be either getting yourself into hot water or, you know, doing someone a disservice by not trying to find that expert, but I think in meetings and that sort of thing, when you’re offering your opinion about something that you ‘re not an expert on, people listen, and I think there is also sort of focus, I think you are more engaged with what’s going on outside of the company and so, you're bringing in some perspectives that they haven’t heard in a while and I think that -- a lot of times people are like, yeah, we brought you in those meetings not because you know something about this, but just because you’re coming in from the outside and we’d like your opinion.