The Non Experts pride themselves on knowing something about everything. As business-to-business consultants who tend to work with clients a little behind the times technologically, they work across several industries providing "honest, consumer-minded insights and recommendations." By being aware of what's going on in the world on a macro level, The Non Experts are able to institute successful change by delivering insight on opportunities that might lie outside of the client's industry scope — after all, being an outlier helps deliver innovation that can create big change in a hurry.
While it might seem like a big job, The Non Experts find opportunity pretty much everywhere by "maintaining a continuous understanding of what's going on among digital and consumers." They read, they Tweet and ultimately base their client recommendations on solid strategy and action. At the end of the day, it comes down to finding and implementing solutions that make their clients more relevant and more successful.
It’s a question of whether you’re willing to admit that you’re not an expert – and that’s a good thing.
You call yourselves the non-experts, but what do non-experts do, exactly?
We know the term outlier from Malcolm Gladwell and his New York Times bestseller, but the true definition of an outlier is a person or thing situated away or detached from the main system. That's one of many ways our clients appreciate our work as non experts, based on the fact that our expertise lies with the awareness of what's going on, domestically and globally, on a very macro level. Combine honest, consumer-minded insights and recommendations and a continuous stream of ideation and you’ve got us, The Non Experts.
What does your job involve on a daily basis, and what types of responsibilities do you have in your position?
The most important aspect is maintaining a continuous understanding of what's going on among digital culture and consumers every single day. It also helps that these topics are beyond fascinating to us and the impact of a new product, like Vine from the founders of Twitter, can change the game for anyone at any second. Aside from all the reading and tweeting we do, we balance most projects based on strategy and action -- collaborating on media or product strategy and positioning, aligning the needs of our client and their brand and making recommendations to implement the plan.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The best part of being a non expert is being able to know something about everything. The breadth of our clients and their customers is so diverse, it’s like having the same job, but in a new industry that changes every week.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
It takes a lot for someone to identify the potential and impact of working with someone foreign to their brand or industry. And, as it turns out, there aren’t very many people like that. Our challenge is reaching those who opt for what's known, what's been done before, what's comfortable.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Since having access to information is as easy as flipping a page on Flipboard, this type of work is truly a lifestyle. It also makes us fabulous guests at a party; being an unexpected source of information on almost anything. There's a tendency to get caught up with all the info that’s being published every second of every day -- I mean, we’ve all heard the stories of Twitter addiction! – but having a separate passion or hobby is the best way we’re able to turn off our media minds and balance what we do.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I can't believe I have this job?" What was it?
We share that thought every day! The moment we realized how much the information and creativity and knowledge we shared linked us in a way that would let us leverage non expert insights, that was the moment for us. Your dream job does not exist. You must create it.
What are some of the rules you live by?
"If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original." –Ken Robinson
"If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done." –Thomas Jefferson
When in doubt, buy a size smaller.
What qualities does one need to possess to be successful in your line of work?
It’s an interesting chemistry we have as non-experts: intense curiosity, mature understanding, constant collaboration and shared encouragement. Ultimately, it’s a question of whether you’re willing to admit that you’re not an expert – and that’s a good thing.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Keep going. And kick anyone who gets in the way.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
The new YouTube platform version of QVC.