Years ago I had a part-time job as a taste-tester. I even blogged about it. They taught us to accurately distinguish the amount of sweet or salt or bitter in a food and to identify any off flavors. Despite being the only job I was ever fired from (I developed a food additive allergy outside of work that made me ineligible to continue), I still think very highly of the company and still use the skills I learned in their six-week training class when I cook at home.
There is a reason for me taking you all down memory lane with me, and it’s not nostalgia. Recently I was reading our local business journal headlines and saw that the company had recently brought their sweetener to market.
I helped with that! We didn’t know at the time what were working on. Now I know!
Years ago I read a Seth Godin blog post about why people from all professions wanted to work for Google. He said it was the equivalent of people wanting to be a bat boy on a winning team. When I first read his post, I dismissed it. The bat boy didn’t win the game; it felt like someone name dropping.
Now, however, I get what he was saying. Very few people will be in a position to wear the number on their back and be in the limelight. Being part of their back office is still better than a similar role in a losing minor league team. Like me with the artificial sweetener, it means a lot to be able to say, “I was part of that.”
Have you ever been a part of new product development? or What do others think of the Bat Boy analogy?