Everyone's an Expert

Last week, I was at an "event" and someone trotted out that old chestnut about CIO meaning career is over. And golly gee wasn't I the lucky one? Sitting next to me was a pre-pubescent IT journo with about three hours experience and something in his nose that nature never intended to be there. He leaned over, winked knowingly at me and offered this gem: "There's a good one for you, Linda". Well, spare me Jesus, or at least spare me from pre-pubescent IT journos who think enterprise computing means five networked PCs, the latest version of Microsoft Office and joy sticks for everyone.

Actually, spare me from all know-it-alls, because lately it seems that everyone knows what CIOs want to hear about.

There isn't a day where I don't get an e-mail message that goes something like this, but minus my italicised observations.

"Joe Bloggs, Acme's VP of product marketing for XYZ product is in Sydney next week and available to meet with you. Joe is quite knowledgeable about (insert anything in the world here, Joe's even quite likely an expert on cold fusion and how to make a soufflé that doesn't collapse). Topics of interest to CIOs would include (insert three bullet points). I believe this would be a great fit with CIO magazine, (but most of all we want to talk about our product so you'll write about it in CIO, and we think you might be stupid enough to fall for it).

Okay, that's my cross to bear, but all this got me wondering, and I've just got to ask: Do you get treated the same way? Do you have the equivalent of pre-pubescent IT journos (that is, a pre-pubescent IT salespeople) being condescending to you?

I think it's time for a new top 10 list. For one brief shining moment, let's dispense with that other old chestnut: the top 10 issues keeping CIOs awake at night. Here's the new one: the top 10 reasons for kicking a sales or marketing type out of the CIO's office. I'm willing to start it off with five.

1. When the sales or marketing type makes it quite evident that they think they know more than you do.

2. When the sales or marketing type asks you if you know how a network works.

3. When the sales or marketing type asks if you're sure you don't want your boss in during thepresentation.

4. When the sales or marketing type asks for the fifth time: "Know what I mean?"

5. When the sales or marketing type has better toys (PDA, notebook, mobile, car, etc) than you do.

But I'm not going to tar myself with my own brush. After all, I'm not the expert here, so send your suggestions to: However, listing "for breathing" is unacceptable.