Steve Jobs Said 1 Habit Separates the Doers From the Dreamers

This article by Jeff Haden in Inc Magazine, “30 Years Ago, Steve Jobs Said 1 Habit Separates the Doers From the Dreamers,” has made me re-think the way I work, but also reconsider the way the OSS / telco industry works.

“One of my least favorite things to do is ask for help. Not only do I not like to ask, but I take a somewhat perverse pride in figuring out how to do difficult things — especially difficult physical things — on my own. (Although maybe that’s just me rationalizing why I don’t like asking for help.)

If you’re an entrepreneur, you can probably relate. One of the reasons people start their own businesses is to be able to rely on themselves. Their decisions. Their actions. Their hard work, level of perseverance, and willingness to struggle and even suffer in the pursuit of a dream.

Go it alone? That’s what entrepreneurs do.”

Prior to starting PAOSS, I’d been responsible for leading a few large teams, but realised the activities required to do so took me away from all the things I loved doing. Therefore, PAOSS was only ever intended to be a micro-business.  I’d simply hand larger projects off to trusted partners.

However, it’s more recently dawned on me that to effect the bigger changes I’d like to see in the OSS and telco industries, PAOSS also needs to be bigger and more impactful. This admission of needing help has been an important trigger behind many great things and great relationships that have been happening around PAOSS in recent times.

“That’s the thing about asking for help. Admitting you need help can make you feel weak, or vulnerable, or somehow “less than” in the eyes of the other person.

But that’s not what happens. When you ask for help, in the right way, other people don’t think about you. They think about how your request implicitly shows you respect them, implicitly shows you trust them. It shows you value or admire the skills, talents, experiences, or resources they clearly worked hard to obtain.”

So let’s now look at this through the lens of the OSS/BSS and telco industries. To paraphrase Jeff’s words above, “Go it alone? That’s what OSS, BSS and telcos do!”  Obviously, that’s a generalisation and is certainly not reflective of the whole industry. However, the level of fragmentation and competition (eg 500+ OSS/BSS vendors on the market) is a sure sign that there’s room for far greater collaboration in these industries.

To paraphrase Jeff again,

“If you don’t ask, you also won’t give [others] the opportunity to make a difference…”

The OSS/BSS industry covers a large estate of functionality. You could easily argue that no single company provides every single piece of the OSS/BSS functionality puzzle. I find it fascinating that more OSS/BSS vendors don’t find other complementary products / vendors to partner with. The partnership model has many great benefits:

  • Greater sales reach and awareness of opportunities (especially when a vendor has quite localised reach)
  • Greater awareness of customer needs and use-cases, and a subsequent ability to offer more use-cases once integrated
  • Building strong partnerships is a great pathway to merger / acquisition in future (as an industry, we need more consolidation – “How fragmentation is harming the OSS/BSS industry”)
  • Access to other great minds to share ideas with and cross-pollinate research / learnings
  • Those are just off the top of my head. I’m sure you can think of more

If you can think of ways that PAOSS could be a useful partner for you, please connect with us. Alternatively, through our awareness of the 500+ vendors in this space and their functionality coverage, we’re great at match-making – finding new partners for you. In other words, feel free to ask us for help, as per another Jeff-ism below:

“Maybe that’s why asking for help is such a strong predictor of success. No one does anything worthwhile on their own, and asking for help could be the first step in building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.”

PS. I don’t believe that just asking is the way to go. Value should also be returned (in whatever shape that might take), as described in the fireplace analogy.

If this article was helpful, subscribe to the Passionate About OSS Blog to get each new post sent directly to your inbox. 100% free of charge and free of spam.

Our Solutions


Most Recent Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.