I want to be an intern. Sounds crazy, right? Interns get all bunk jobs others don’t want, right? They got the radio jobs when radio was the new media no one believed in. They got the TV jobs when television was the new media that would be dead in a few years. You know, the bunk jobs with the short-lived, newfangled, new media which would never replace what came before it. Well, I’m an Internet Marketing 2.0 professional , and I want to be an intern.
I love to read business, marketing, and economics books. I find it incredibly interesting when two independent authors, sometimes in two different genres, come up with two separate but synergistic ideas. Just recently I completed two books that did just this. The first, The Ten Commandments for Business Failure , by Donald Keough, and the second, Outliers: The Story of Success , by Malcolm Gladwell. Both very good books, each taking different routes in their approach to researching success. Once combined, however, something interesting hit me, and it wasn’t what I thought it’d be.
Keough certainly made a lot of great points about what not to do in order to succeed. But that’s not what I’m concentrating on. What really stood out to me was a small section about his internship at a television station. Sorry Mr. Keough, I don’t think that was your intention. Typically people gloss over this part of his life and focus on the enormous successes he’s had since, but this one part of his history really amazed me and got me thinking. Imagine today someone offering an intern the job of television football announcer for the NFL. Because that’s what happened. From that respect you can see why it jumped out at me.
Now let’s cut over to the first and second chapters in Gladwell’s book entitled "The Matthew Effect" and "The 10,000-Hour Rule" respectfully. In short, Gladwell posits two things: first, one needs to be in the right place, at the right time, and ready for an opportunity and, second, it takes approximately 10,000 hours for an individual to become truly ready for an opportunity. You’ll have to read the book if you want the long version. 10,000 hours, with a normal work day and year, works out to just over 5 years of laboring away.
Interesting. Now let’s combine the two books via a friend of mine who is an intern at a marketing company. Her job is to research new media, the technology that will never replace current marketing. Let’s think about this. A budding marketing technology the base of which has already revolutionized how we communicate with our customers the full potential of which we are still shaping. We give the job of discovering this to whom? The intern, of course. The lowly intern has begun her 10,000 hours to preparing for the opportunity while the rest of us are focusing on "real jobs" with "real potential". What does this mean? When social media / marketing 2.0 does become mainstream, she’ll be right there to take charge and lead us in the new media revolution.
I’m an Internet Marketing 2.0 professional, and I want to be an intern.