Martin Koníček


Why am I building a brand, and why is it such a tragedy?

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When I was last searching for a contract, some companies adopted a system of standardized selection processes, as if buying a commodity like wheat or orange juice. Some companies even take pride in treating people as commodities.

As some say about me, I'm an opportunist. When there's a kilometer-long queue at the main entrance of a building, I'll find a way to enter through the back door. I don't engage much in competition. You might wonder what the benefit of this is for the client, which I'll explain right away.

I bought a Sencor (cheap brand) kitchen robot a few years ago, the highest quality one, perfectly meeting my requirements: metal gears, a glass mixing bottle, exactly according to my customer preferences, and at a great price. To my surprise, the glass bottle shattered when pouring a hot drink, and Sencor's service center with its five-year post-warranty support played dead. My attempts with emails and phone calls were in vain, and since then, I've discarded all products from this company.

Sencor products seem to perfectly match customer expectations in terms of design, price, and specifications, but they have one flaw: they don't work. From vacuum cleaners to kitchen robots, everything appears great but fails in practice. The metal gears that the customer wanted, indestructible, are probably now lying in a landfill.

Bosch, I don't understand, but it works

Bosch, for me, is an interesting brand. They always come up with a product that, according to my preferences, is wrong, doesn't meet my criteria, and is expensive.

Then I buy the product (a vacuum cleaner), it has only three attachments, no beater bar, low power, and I'm amazed at how much they charge for such a parameter-wise poor thing. But I know Bosch. I know their engineers are smarter than me, they made better decisions for me, and it turns out my selection criteria were wrong.

I turn on the vacuum cleaner that meets none of my criteria, and it works wonderfully, quietly, powerfully, compactly, and practically. Bosch engineers figured it out better than me.

I'm not Sencor, and I don't want to be

I know that a company selecting its technicians based on parameters will never work with me. In terms of the ratio of "encyclopedic knowledge" to "price," I can't be competitive, and I don't want to be. For a long time, I couldn't answer the interview question, "Why should we hire you when there's someone with better technical knowledge who will do it for less?"

When a company sends me three technical and two psychological tests at the first interviews (hello unnamed food delivery service), I know we won't make a deal.

You may wonder why someone would pay me, especially since, like Bosch, I'm quite expensive. Many companies have simply set their criteria for selecting collaborators wrong. They're not looking for a walking encyclopedia; they're looking for someone who can complete their projects, they just don't realize it or can't articulate it.

My strengths aren't exactly measurable by a test, and most companies don't understand what's important for them. What I sell is my ability to push a project for years, politically pave its way, sell it within the company, and handle it technically. It's a combination of qualities especially valuable for larger companies.

It's like with Bosch; when a company collaborates with me, I complete their project. I won't get sidetracked by other priorities or start twenty other projects that never finish. I'll solve their problem.

And that's a great quality, which no one can name. How many ministers have we had who promised reforms from healthcare to education, and nothing happened.

What I've realized recently is that after I finish the current project (which might take a year or so), and the company I'm currently working with doesn't have another, I want to have an answer for other companies about what they're paying for, even if it's not according to the charts.

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