Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

08 Sep 2006, 18:21 p.m.

The Ride

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2006 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

A few Salon articles I've enjoyed: Andrew Leonard on learning to be a father and Cary Tennis explaining why people drink and take drugs.

Once upon a time, Salon was a weekly literary magazine. Then it became a daily fix for argument and culture analysis, and then it added investigative reporting. I find surprise addictive, and I could reliably find the unexpected at Salon.

Now it's an all-around companion for the liberal sensibility, which is good and bad.

The more I learn about sales, at my new job and in reading and in classes, the more I think about the unique selling proposition, the thing you have to offer that no one else has. Andy Rooney once pointed out that it's a lot easier to make a living as the ten-thousandth best accountant or insurance guy in the country than as the ten-thousandth best singer. The new economy, I think, makes every knowledge profession more like singing. I need to specialize and be the best in a tiny niche to succeed. Does Salon?

In the movie Wordplay, we see a woman who has won a national crossword puzzle tournament, and can then shut down a jerky date's taunts by asking him, "Well, what are YOU the best in the country at?"

As part of the Columbia Master's program, I have to come up with a tech business plan. I am trying to see what I can leverage, what core competency I have that's rare, what opportunities exist in the margins I occupy.