Even as I type this I can hear Xian saying, “You know, sometimes you type things you probably shouldn’t in your blog.”
On Tuesday I was summoned to a sales meeting. I thought it might be mildly interesting. I was curious to hear the perspectives and perceptions of other people in the company. After all the slides were shown I was told many, many, many times by many different people how vital my numbers are. Over the last few months I’ve been under pressure (think Queen) to increase my team’s numbers. Tuesday forcefully hammered the point home.
It’s not that the expectations are unreasonable. The goals are aggressive yet fair. It’s that the numbers will come at the expense of what I enjoyed about work. When I compare summer 2003 to summer 2004, it’s really obvious. The numbers were decent last year, but I was incredibly proud of the product. The boys did some really oustanding work that was lauded by our peers. I swelled with pride every time someone mentioned how much they enjoyed the site. This year the numbers are much better, but the pieces have no soul. They’re produced in a smart and systematic way that’s effective at getting traffic.
So now I’m at a crossroads (think Britney) of sorts. Do I go full on with raising numbers? Or do I try to make something creative and interesting? I can’t do both in the situation I’m in–not with the current directives and my skillset. Maybe I should grow up and accept that everything is a business. Or maybe I should keep tilting at windmills and try to create something that’s different.
On a side note, I was surprisingly uncomfortable at the sales mixer. I usually have fun playing crowds, but not on Tuesday. It felt weird being escorted around meeting various sales / biz dev / marketing people. It’s a bit ironic and more than a little hypocritical considering that I was on their side of the fence less than a decade ago.