The always-very-astute JP Rangasawmi has announced he is leaving DrKW to take over as CIO of Global Services at BT. Best of luck to JP with your new gig.
However, JP includes the following in his announcement blog post:
I’ve never worked for a competitor in my life, either by accident or design
I think this is not only admirable on one level, but also the sign of a very multiskilled individual. People end up working for competitors for all sorts of reasons – often either because they are tempted by money or because they are ‘stuck’ in a particular niche.
As far as my professional career goes, I’ve only ever been an employee of BBC so it’s certainly easier for me to also say I’ve never worked for a competitor. Mind you, the next questions comes “who is a competitor to the BBC?”. Sure, the likes of Channel 4 or ITV are – but what about Yahoo! or Google. On a certain level they could be construed as competitors to the BBC.
During the period when I was looking for opportunities after the BBC, I almost did go and work for a ‘direct competitor’ of the BBC. A significant competitor, certainly on a global level, in fact. The job was interesting, and er yes, the pay would have been v good. But I was very aware one of the reasons (maybe the main reason) they were interested in me was because of by BBC knowledge, and not necessarily for my personal competencies.
As a consultant I’m now aware that many of my clients could be competing with the BBC. However the great thing is that in the specific niche I work in, developer networks, new dev net propositions are not in competition with the BBC’s (or anyone else’s) but in sympathy. After all, every new developer network brings new API’s and feeds – ever increasing the size of the ecospehere from which we can mashup! I guess I’m lucky in that sense.
Would you work for a competitor to your current employer? Do you already work for a competitor to a former employer? What was the motivation behind the switch, and what are your views on the issue generally?