Contentions: “People don’t actually know that…”

… Your team works with a vast, fascinating, set of data.

… Your team performed a migration in a way that nobody ever did before, and that was an awesome feat.

… Your team is responsible for designing or developing some of the most exciting projects in the industry.

Being the industry’s best kept secret is only awesome when somebody else says that about you; even then, it’s a backhanded compliment. 

The compliment: Your team delivers work that’s so great that it’s worth discussing and recommending.

The backhand: Your team hasn’t done the work of putting that work forward, or demonstrating its expertise in a memorable way (that is not bound by NDA). 

The backhand also has its own effects; the people considering doing business with you might not trust you as much yet, or aren’t as excited as they should be. Deals that could’ve taken a handful of meetings now take twice as long, because the trust isn’t there, and scheduling is painful. Recruiting is more challenging, for the same reason. 

When people don’t know, that means you need to do a better job of showing and telling your work as a team. You need to communicate to people and show them how you think, through what you do, or what your team thinks of what’s happening in the industry.

Of course people don’t know, because you haven’t done the work to tell them. Not just once, because they’ll forget; over, and over, and over again

See also, So, you want to start an engineering blog?, Collecting to build and demonstrate expertise, and Treat promoting your work as its own craft.

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