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In the Online World, What Type are YOU?

I’ve recently come up with an idea – a realization that there are levels of people in the world doing what I’m doing. I’ve put together a grossly inadequate framework to throw people into and assign them a level corresponding to what they know in the world of internet ventures. I need this because it helps me focus on my energy on what I can hope to accomplish with people of each level. It helps me put people into a group so I can better communicate with them by interacting with them on whatever level they’re at.

First, let me explain that I have friends that are of all different levels. Friendships are not dependent on, nor are they even related at all to these levels and the importance of having them. I don’t assign friends to levels because there’s no need. I interact with them as a friend, I don’t have any agenda with my friends.

This is in marked contrast to those I’m trying to accomplish something with on a business level. Really, I created these hypothetical levels only for that reason – I want to have a general idea in my mind about how best to go about interacting with people I work with or am thinking about working with for online ventures.

When I’m working with someone on any project I want to answer the questions:

  1. Is the person able to contribute something to the equation? (The equation being success at whatever project we’re working on together.)
  2. Am I able to communicate with the person? If I’m listening hard, am I understanding? Is the person able to explain in different ways so I “get it”? If I explain something 4 ways, does the person “get it”?
  3. Is the person a long-term partner or short-term?
  4. Is the person a details person or a “see the big picture” person? I need to know both of course, but since I’m already a big picture kind of person, I really appreciate meeting the “details people”.
  5. Is the person actively engaged in learning about whatever project we’re considering? Are they revved up about it?
  6. Is the person an ideas person (like me) or a, work on what you give me person? Again, I need both, but since I have more ideas than I know what to do with I like to meet others that have the solid drive to work on the same project day after day.

I’ve described a few types of people that I know and that I typically work with. You can change the levels to apply to any industry and I think they cross-generalize pretty well.

Wiley Coyote Level,
super genius. Appears to communicate well ONLY with other Wiley Coyotes.
Those that have super-interconnectivity between neurons and react with lightening efficiency are qualitatively different than most people in the world. I’ve met exactly 4 of these people in my lifetime, all within the last 5 years. Their thinking speed, and realm of what they’ve thought about are off the scale. They are not ‘people persons’ because they can’t seem to connect with others, even if – on an intellectual level there are others that understand what they’re talking about sometimes – much of the time they’re lost in their own private world of thoughts. They’re testing hypothesis’ in their heads and in their lives. They are relentlessly dedicated to finding out the truths about things they’re interested in. They have trouble translating what they’re thinking into anything the rest of us can understand because quite frankly, their brains are working twice or thrice as fast as the general population. I’ve known 4 of these people, and as I reflect back on each of them this is a fair and accurate description of them.

Wiley Coyotes are those that don’t know HOW to interact with people and they aren’t much interested in figuring it out. They are a cut above the rest of the world in terms of their raw brain power, and maybe part of the WHY that this happened is that they are socially inept and don’t know how to communicate with others well. As a result, they’re in their own heads most times and only attempt to share their ‘outrageously difficult to grasp ideas’ with others when they think it can make a big difference in the world, or their own world.

Wiley Coyotes are usually the creators of extremely successful ventures. They know the big picture. They know how every piece fits into the equation. They know where to source the best people possible to work on the pieces and they know how to secure funding for their ventures. They are typically personally interested more in the growth, business, and financial sides of the online venture. They like to start projects and manage the entire thing as one person, or if there are a couple Wiley Coyotes in a pack that created the venture – they’ll split some duties.

I don’t usually team up with a person of this level, as I have done so in the past with little positive result except I learned a lot. Now, that IS a positive result… but, I found it very difficult to meet my needs that I have as a contributor to projects because the Wiley Coyote has already considered my idea and all the possible scenarios, and probably already tried my idea and found it lacking in some way. They are usually focused on something different than what I’m focused on. And lastly, though I think the person and myself are communicating and that we understand each other – in reality we may be worlds apart in our understanding of each other. So – usually working with this person is a dead end.

However, I surround myself with these types of people every day online as much as I can. How? I subscribe to and read their blogs religiously. They are years ahead of most of the world and I like reading their ideas. They are the impetus for some of my own ideas, or they spawn new ideas as I’m reading their blogs. They are remarkable providers of resources… they seem to know where to go for the best possible tools or resources in whatever area you might have some needs. I read their entire blog and all the comments because I know there are intelligent people from all over the world writing in the comments section of these Wiley Coyotes!

You’ll be approaching the impossible if you are trying to get a Wiley Coyote to help you with some part of your own project. (Hi Cheyenne)

Smiley Coyote,
socially adept super genius.
These are Wiley Coyotes in their inner-mind brilliance and speed and yet they are a little slower on the outside when interacting with other human beings. They are more socially adept and they are able to self-monitor their brilliance and share at a level that’s more in-tune with someone on a different level. They can explain things more easily than Level 1a’s, but still they might have serious communication issues. I worked with one guy in Hawaii (Oahu) that was at this level and I learned quite a bit and was able to contribute to the success of the business at some level. I enjoyed working with this guy as he was brilliant, and yet VERY aware of the way he was coming across while communicating with me or the other staff. He would explain until the other person “got it”.

Level Smiley Coyotes don’t have time to help others either, outside of the current project. You’ll have a tough time getting any time from these folks. I work well with Smiley Coyotes. (Hi Kevin)

G-Men & G-Women.
I consider myself a “G-Man” in the world of online technology and things related to the internet… marketing, sales, ideas, knowledge of tools and resources. I can work at a very high level. I know the terminology. I know how all pieces of the puzzle fit together. I can DO nearly all the pieces that are necessary to get a web site up and running and profitable including almost anything with multimedia, podcasting, video blogging, and such things. If necessary I know how to find very good people to work with. I outsource pieces of the project to those people. If there is programming to do that is always outsourced. I enjoy site design, but my designs are purely built around speed and ease of use. Not much GUI in my designs. The one piece of the puzzle I’m not competent with is the PHP/ASP and database side of programming… I don’t know Java or any code other than HTML and CSS a bit.

Here in Thailand I am alone in what I know, or so it appears. I’ve tried for a year to find others that might be “G-People” or Smiley Coyotes, that I could work with – and I think they are either hiding out and relaxing from the stress and turmoil of a past life in their own country – like I did for a year. Or, they are just not here.

I know that I know a lot. At times when I get cocky and think I am a Smiley Coyote, I just go read some blogs of those that really ARE at that level and I’m truly humbled. I return to the wide-screen notebook to learn more about whatever subject I’ve just been schooled in.

G-men and G-Women are learning all the time and have a really high drive to make something work. They are innovative and they often take time to help others out. (Hi Vern, Steve, Nate, Albert, Darren)

Within each level there are those that communicate with others more easily and those that have more difficulty. I was going to assign subtypes “a” and “b” to clarify the group a little better, but it’s going to get confusing real quick. Best to leave it as it is.

Mom & Pops
These are folks that know most of the pieces of the puzzle, but that probably couldn’t put together a winning or major successful web site on their own without some big help. They may have been programmers before and have dabbled in building sites. They might be marketing or sales people from the past that have learned how to build web sites. They might have worked in a dot com and seen everything working, but they are still weak as far as knowing the complete equation and how each piece adds to the success of the online venture. These are the wannabe entrepreneurs that the USA is full of at this time.

People of all sorts of backgrounds are realizing that they want to get in on the online action and they are scrambling to make it happen. Some are building eBay stores, Yahoo stores, blogs of all sorts, web sites about making money online, and all sorts of subjects. They see that the future is online – and they want their own future to be online. They see online success as relatively easy and they believe that they can become more successful than by continuing with whatever career they were doing before. Usually Mom & Pops join with other Mom & Pops because there are plenty of them around and because they’re just not savvy enough to know they NEED to know any of the higher levels. The higher levels don’t particularly need the Mom & Pops since they don’t have much to offer.

Some Mom & Pops are going to “make it”. They’re going to succeed beyond their wildest expectations… but most will not. The ones that do succeed are the ones that either spend years trying or those that are able to have close contact – even online, with G-Men, G-Women, or the Smiley Coyote if it was possible to endear one’s self to, and latch on to a Smiley Coyote that will help guide the Mom & Pop. Not help, just guide. The Mom & Pop will have to do LOTS of work to make it work, but it’s possible with help since Mom & Pops don’t have a complete (or solid) plan for success layed out. (Hi Mick, Matt, Richard, Dave)

Cogs. No, wait, Platinum Cogs.
Platinum Cogs are people that I need more than anyone else. I need them because they do one or a few things very competently and are expert at it. They may or may not be much interested in following their own entrepreneurial ideas and they are excited to work on a project that is interesting to them and showcases their talents. They have obvious and sometimes incredibly useful talents that Coyotes and G-People can use to expertly solve some part of the equation. (Hi DaVID, Henrik, Frank)

Twitters are those that might have some technical skill in some area, but primarily they work in an area such as online sales or marketing. They work with their mouths. They initiate, maintain and grow relationships that are essential to the online venture. They are fun, and add spice to the office environment since the rest of us don’t. They are indispensable to any successful online venture. They see a limited part of the big picture and they are happy doing their part to make the web site or other online venture successful. They understand the terminology used in the online marketing industry and they’re very good at doing their jobs.

Ok, that’s all I have… I didn’t go any further than describing just the levels here. I think the other types of person don’t really apply to what I’m doing. I would guess that maybe 50% of everyone working in the online world falls into one of the categories above. With the largest group by far being the Mom & Pops. (That’s a gross estimate and is probably off by a large factor, it’s just a guess really.)

I don’t know if this will help anyone at all, but it helps me clarify in my mind because already I’ve started to assign people into the classes and it will help me focus better.

Best of Life,


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