Ken Mizell [kenmizell]
What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
I'm a bussiness development and social media professional with a deep history in software testing and development. My title is VP Software Test & QA.
What links do you have on the Internet: website, blog, social networks?
When did you realise that your work was being considered important and that it could possibly take you places?
When our team at Expedia was responsible for more than one million dollars per person in net profit to the bottom line each year, I started to realize that automation, effeciency, and creativity were key.
When others noticed my work outside my company and asked me to solve similar problems I really knew.
With which types of persons do you feel you work well with as a team?
Great teams are built from great people. Those who have these traits which I believe are hard to teach, yet required for success:
Intelligence, integrity, drive, passion, adaptability, humility, technical ability, business savvy, and a sense of humor, are required.
How do you feel about speaking in front of an audience? What experience have you had in this arena?
I've spoken to large groups only a few times, and it doesn't frighten me. I don't mind speaking about something where I know the material. I think I'm a pretty good story teller, and I can relate to almost anyone.
Do you attend cocktail parties, presentations, fairs or conventions related to your profession?
I regularly attend professional networking events in the Seattle (and EastSide) area. Here are a few where you might run into me:
I'm also active in supporting philanthropic interests such as:
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
You have two ears, and one mouth... and you should use them in that order.
How do you handle customer complaints?
Individually. ... and very well.
I ask that our customers reserve judgment about our mistakes (everyone makes mistakes and I am likely to make one at some time), instead I ask them to judge us on how we handle things once they tell us that something is wrong.
Some of my most difficult past customers are now my biggest fans, and I value their feedback in making my team and me better.
How is an idea sold?
With a good story including contrast between what is, and what could be, and with a compelling call to action.
Ideas can come simultaneously to different people in different places with no connection to one another. How do you explain this phenomenon?
Most ideas are just the next logical leap. Often ideas are not hatched in an 'ah ha' moment, instead they emerge from a fog of related puzzle pieces, slowly coming into focus.
There's no reason why two smart people couldn't be looking into the same fog and see the same idea emerge (even if it's from slightly different angles).
Do you consider yourself a geek?
Were you one of those who broke toys to see the inner workings?
My favorite toys were legos... because you could build endless numbers of things with them and then when you got bored with them... you could tear them apart and create something new. I had a fishing tackle box full of them as a kid.
How would you describe the emotion that comes from getting involved in a new technology?
New technology is both exciting and frustrating at the same time. You are bound to find limitations that you did not expect, or strangeness in the way a piece of hardware or software interprets your intentions to produce surprising results. But finding those limits and pushing past them is what cutting edge technology is all about.
In your field of work, what is the major technological trend on the horizon?
Social Media and Business Intelligence are the two emerging fields that will converge with social media analytics. See: http://goo.gl/OlYcU
What is “selling” for you? What is your technique? What is the greatest lesson you have learned about selling?
I don't "sell".
The truth is, all things being equal, people like to buy from friends. And even when things aren't so equal, people still like to buy from friends.
I make friends by helping people, connecting them to others that might help them, or showing them something I found that relates to a problem they may be tackling. When my friends need my 'professional' help, they'll buy from me because they know I'll treat them right.
Life is not about short term gains. Life is about long term relationships.
Do you blog or twitter?
Blog = http://mindofmizell.blogspot.com/
Twitter = https://twitter.com/#!/kenmizell
LinkedIn = http://www.linkedin.com/in/kenmizell
Kirkland, WA USA