In my life I have done a lot of things, well that is not really true, I have done a few things, with lots of variation at each thing. I have spent a fair amount of time as a teacher for example, but should I consider coaching, tutoring, guidance, lecturing etc as different things or variations on a theme. It is the same way with my technology background. We used to say that a technical cert was really valid for about 3 years but only valuable for 1-2 then you needed to re-certify. Now part of that was driven by the industry, after all in software for much of my personal support career, who was the major driver in desktop software? Yeap that company and the old quip was what happens every 18 months? They release a new OS, so we needed to keep up. How much difference was there between systems, oh not much for the average user, not even all that much for the average, or even lower level tech, you would call us higher level techs, but we worked at lower levels of the system so I stand by my term. The point is that once you learned the initial paradigm and you had basic skills present, it was not a difficult thing to stay at the front of them wave.
Meta aside, I used to teach the CompTIA A+ certification courses. Inevitably one of the students would say the first day that they were there for me to train them how to be a technician. Eventually I just began adding a section to my introduction to say that I could not train you to be a technician, there were people who might be able to do that, but I was not that good. By the time you got to me, you either were a technician, or you were not. The objection then was raised that why were they, or their company, paying thousands of dollars for me to train them. The answer was simple: I was there to train them the specifics of being a computer technician, or programmer or engineer or whatever it was the class I was teaching. You see those are all mindsets. I am convinced that the same kinds of guys who were shade tree mechanics in my fathers generation, were ‘technologists’; and those that were computer techs, hackers etc in my generation, are still technologists, and in this present generation guess what they are still there, they enjoy making things work. They have “the knack”. Now Scott Adams is commenting on engineering, but really something deeper. I do not believe that everyone has a knack, I don’t believe that is you have one knack you can’t have a second knack, though I suspect it is rarer. Heck I am not convinced it is not possible to have a knack of the knack, and thus be good at all sorts of things. My point is simply that some people have a knack and if you have a knack in something I could teach you the information you needed to use that knack in a specific way, but I could not give you a knack.
Dear lord you are wordy, what has any of this got to do with service and design? Get to the point already. I can hear it echoing from all none of you reading this. And to you each I say its my journal I can be as expositional as I want to be. You are not paying for this and certainly not by the word. Yet I digress.
If you have an eye for style, you may well have a knack, if you like to tinker with things, you may have a knack, you may even be like me and have a systems knack, were you are a generalist who can apply frameworks to a system and make it look like you are good at a bunch of different hings, but really it is just one and you may not even be that good at it, just better than those around you at the time, which btw is why it is important to travel and communicate with others. If you are big fish in a small pond, you are likely still a little fish on the grand scheme of things, get out and stretch yourself, realize how small you are and grow.
OK service and design. I have an untrained pseudo knack in aesthetics, I bet, if I found the right person I could really be good at it and enjoy it. OK this next part is going to sound really mind bogglingly arrogant, but I simply do not have time to be trained in everything I have a knack for, yeap sounded arrogant didn’t it? Except remember I said I think I have a systems knack, or maybe it is a meta knack, it just means that as a generalist and a user of frameworks, my knack is very broad. Besides if you knew me, you would know what I really think of my skills and abilities.
What I do know is that I can frequently see signs of the knack in others. Doubly when is seems their particular aesthetic in an area seems to come along side my own or maybe I am just blinded by transient feelings or some such.
Anyway so service and design, wait you mean he is getting tot he topic? Say it aint so Joe!, yeah so the two ideas for business that marry both service and design. There is a program to supply veterans with grant money to refurbish housing so they can live in it longer. To do it, I need to find someone with time and a sales inclination. And then, there is the other side to the idea, there are Vets who do not receive the honours they are entitled to, I want to do a veterans memorial services service. The ideas is this: cremation is becoming commonplace, and memorial urns are outrageously expensive. If I manufactured and sold the m at market rates, I could give half of them away to vets families who could not afford the and still make a profit. However, as much as I have an eye for aesthetic, I am not a designer in and of itself. I could give someone the beginnings and let them run with it.
Of course the obvious implication is that I know someone could fulfil that role.