Development Evangelist – The missing ingredient

Posted on September 9, 2010
Greg C. Gibson - Development Evangelist

Greg C. Gibson – Development Evangelist

The Need for a Development Evangelist.

Almost daily I am introduced to great men who believing in a dream have invested in the potential of an idea only to find their investment has yielded little or nothing. Every day millions of dollars are wasted in companies because non-tech people and tech people either don’t communicate or completely misinterpret each other’s points of view. Such communication failures wastes millions of investor’s money and saps the creative juices of those who diligently try to achieve badly expressed or continually morphing objectives.

Too often the idea is assumed to be simple to enact by people who do not have an understanding of the fundamentals necessary to bring the idea to fruition. And do not have the communication and technical skills to motivate and direct those empowered to make it happen. But they have the skill to motivate and extract funding from trusting investors.

As such focus is spent on embellishing and marketing that which is yet to be attained and selling the idea over and over again in order to fuel not the achievement of the objective but the maintenance of the dream. This is not a new phenomenon but what is new is the shortage of resources to fuel such ideas and bring them to realisation. Today investors are more cautions than even and more skeptical of the “idea prophets” and their snake oil sales pitch.

There can be no doubt that ideas are what generate a great product but it is the design and implementation that makes it a reality for investors and users. To do this you need developers to innovate and mould the technical pieces into a functional fabric. Unfortunately developers get very little if any credit for their work as they are generally relegated to backrooms and treated as menial pawns rather than the ingenious thinkers they are. It must be remembered that the concept without the technical means to exist and to be brought to fruition is just a thought, it may be a great thought but it is just that a thought and without execution is without meaning. The importance of this lies in the recognition of the essential need to convey to the developers the concept and to empower them with the tools to bring the idea to life.

The world is full of dedicated highly skilled technical people that are ready, willing and able to solve technical challenges. They will amaze and astonish you with their innovative and cost effective solutions and will they work diligently to bring your idea to fruition but you have to know how to communicate with them.

What a Development Evangelist will do

Conveying information to the media, exciting a market, inspiring customer loyalty and freeing up the pockets of investors are talents but they are not the talents necessary to motivate, empower and direct developers. This is quite a different talent and invariably needs that rare ingredient, a person of experience, talent, knowledge and with the communication skills to speak both “geek” and “meek”. That person is a Development Evangelist. For those that are no familiar with the term, a Development Evangelist is a spokesperson, mediator, facilitator and translator between the idea originator and the technical staff entrusted to realise the dream.

Properly empowered a Development Evangelist will be the best player that any investor, entrepreneur or technical professional can have on their team. For he is on everyone’s team, it is him or her that will minimise the waste of investors’ capital, minimise the sapping of creative talents and maximise the probability of success.  It is his compassion and understanding for those that he is entrusted to guide that will bring the most out of the technical resources empowered to realise the dream and to do so in the most timely and cost effective manner.

If you are or you know of someone that is about to invest in or about to embark upon a venture to take an idea and bring it to fruition and they do not have as part of their team a Development Evangelist then do them a favour and warn them of their folly. There are enough damaged souls from ship wrenched ideas scatted on the reefs of reality, we need not inject any more carnage and hurt into the investing community. We owe it to the world to realise as many great ideas as possible, let us not waste what meger resources we have, especially when it will take so little to protect.

Greg C. Gibson Press Article Submission 2010

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