How Did I Get Pigeonholed?

Once in a while, I find that one person or another, or even a group of people, seem to have an idea of my business that isn’t true. Part of it probably comes from this blog. Let me explain…

I work with a variety of industries, both with R&D  (Research and Development) and QC (Quality Control) labs. Yet, just in the past year, I’ve had people make the following statements to me:

  1. You obviously don’t work with non-GMP labs.
  2. You only work with the beverage industry.
  3. You only work with LabWare LIMS.
  4. You work for LabWare.
  5. You’re a LabWare consultant.
  6. You only work with pharmaceuticals.
  7. You only do Business Analysis work.

My Response
Let me add that all these statements are false. With regard to working only in a particular industry, my company isn’t big enough to send a different team of people to each industry. Even though there are some small companies that do specialize in something specific, like government work, or environmental labs, I have no good reason to do that. I find that working with a variety of customers is not only more interesting for me, but it does help the customers. You’d be surprised to know how often solutions in one industry can help another. When you get too involved with a single industry, too into that silo mentality, you don’t get the same chance to see what’s going on in other places. It pays to learn from any place that you can in order to give the most informed solutions to the customer.

To respond specifically to the LabWare assertions, I will just tell anyone who is reading this that I don’t have any relationship with LabWare beyond the fact that I’m an expert in their software. They aren’t my customer. I’m not a partner of theirs. We have no bond beyond the fact that I do know quite a lot of their people from past projects. In addition to that, I do also provide expertise in Thermo’s Sample Manager. To those who ask why I don’t provide services in other products, there are mainly three reasons for that: 1) Those two products represent the bulk of opportunities for clientele; 2) Other product opportunities haven’t recently come my way; 2) No-one can work with an unlimited number of products, anyway — you can only be an expert in a small number of products or you’re spread too thin to be able to keep-up your skills enough on any one product to call yourself an expert on it.

Why Do People Get These Misconceptions?
My first answer would be that I have no idea where people get these ideas. However, what I find truly bizarre is those people who try to convince me that these statements they’ve come up with are true. Seriously?! Really?! After all, I should know if I work on other products or not, don’t you think?

But I think, too, that people might see one article or another and believe that my expertise relies only on whatever that articles or blog posting is about. When I’m on a project, I do tend to blog fairly consistently about whatever topics relate to my current projects. Thus, if I tend to be doing more LabWare LIMS work, I tend to blog about that. If I’m working with a contract lab, I tend to come up with topics more related to their types of issues. If a magazine wants an article on data security for laboratory informatics, that is what I’ll write about.

Once the words get out there, a person that reads those words might not run into the other articles I write or bother to look at the other blog postings I make. Thus, helping me write myself into a pigeonhole. I guess I do it to myself.  😉

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

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