In response to Ian Silverstein’s article on common experience (DW 2 December 2004) I can say this: I have had quite regular meetings with Ian over the past two to three years, which I believe have been fairly open and without any of the clandestine agenda that competing consultancies usually face.
We use the time to bounce ideas of each other and discuss our individual overviews of the industry in general.
We have passed leads and opportunities between each other in the past and it is important to remember that not everyone is out there to steal business and contacts or clients. Most of the time it is insecurity in their own
abilities and client relationships that deter rivals from talking.
Competition is healthy. It is also necessary for progress, otherwise how are we motivated to push forward and think smarter? Besides, isn’t this type of networking only what organisations like the Design Business Association are partly about anyway?
I founded Beswick Design in 2001 and although my industry experience goes back way before that, there is no substitute for experience that other people can add to the mix.
Learning from other people’s experiences, successes and mistakes only serves to make us wiser and more informed in what we do for ourselves.