“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.”
There is an almost you-niversal truth in business. It’s not about you.
One of my young mentees was surprised during a recent discussion about a job interview he was due to have. My message was that most interviewees make a fundamental mistake – thinking that a job interview is all about themselves. It’s not. Its about what you can do for the potential employer. They want to know about you, but only in the context of how you can benefit their organisation with the skills, contacts/customers, energy, personality, etc that you bring to the table.
The same is true for OSS vendors (or any vendors for that matter). A sales pitch, a bid, a project implementation, a consultancy – it’s all about bringing more value to their organisation than you’re charging. It’s not the features you offer, it’s about the benefits you deliver.
How about if you’re an OSS customer (eg a CSP)? You’d like to think that it’s all about you right? Well, to an extent it is…. but it’s actually more about your customers (ie the end-users of your services).
But it comes full circle. If you’re able to make it all about them, they’ll tend to reward you for it. To use the example of the job interview – if you show that you’re going to be a valuable asset to them, they’ll reward you with the job. And if you continue to make it about them, they’ll continue to reward you for your efforts (hopefully).