At the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit this week, Bill Gates talked about how it is difficult to find U.S. computer science grads who have "the right qualifications" - and how he can't believe that more students don't go into computer sciences.
That's a hot topic, since so many jobs are going offshore - BUT my interest was Bill's comment on sales. I've not seen a transcript but heard a sound bite yesterday to the effect that sales is boring, repetitive, and mundane. He can't believe so many people would want to be in sales when they could do something really interesting - write code.
Now if I was a sales professional at Microsoft, I'd have a thing or two to say to my CEO about that. After all, Microsoft's products don't just sell by themselves, do they?
The adage, "Nothing happens until someone sells something" rings true for me - that's why we have marketing and sales teams.
Selling, when done with passion and professionalism, can be the most exciting career on Earth. Where else can you make the smallest or largest income, determined mainly by your efforts and decisions - and creatively solve others' business challenges?
I'm sure that Bill Gates knows of a sales rep or two within his own organization who closed a very large deal while solving a customers' business issue - and what's boring about that?