Expertise So Clear… (Issue 706)

In which we ask ourselves the question, once again, “what is our differentiating, dominating expertise?”

My phone quit. Well, that’s not exactly right. My computer quit recognizing my phone. I didn’t notice that right away (I don’t synch daily…. Hmmm, that’s another story). And, one day, a few days after downloading the newest iOS 8 release to my iOS7 iPHone, my laptop (not an Apple) wouldn’t say “boo” to my iPhone.

Unable to find an Apple article or consensus in on-line chats, I made a Genius Bar appointment.

At one of the Apple Store side tables, the very pleasant Stephen listened to my tale, indicated “this is not typical,” and ran a few quick diagnostics with me –the phone is fully plugged in (yes), all software is up to date (yes), laptop is STILL not recognizing the phone (true). He checked the phone on another computer (that computer recognized the phone) and concluded there was a problem somewhere with my laptop.

And, he had no idea what to do at that point. After some thinking out loud, no solution emerging, Stephen went to ask counsel from one of the Geniuses behind the Genius Bar.

When I asked, ‘What did you learn?” he mumbled, “Something about a driver” and would I please step this way to the Genius Bar.

And that’s where I met Thomas. Thomas is large man in all dimensions, a tall, bespectacled version of the Michelin Man, comfortably working four customers’ devices at once, like a rock band keyboard player cheerfully shifting back and forth between instruments. Amazingly, each customer, myself included, felt like we were the only customer he was dealing with. Incredible focus.

“What’s the trouble?”

I explained, “Laptop doesn’t recognize phone after iOS 8 upgrade.”

“OK,” he said and, turning to Stephen (with a tone I can describe only as ‘regal’) suggested, “You might want to take notes.” And off we went.

He whizzy tapped stuff I couldn’t follow on my laptop and phone, quietly instructing the painfully note-taking Stephen like a medical examiner dictating autopsy notes.

Looking at me, he revealed, cheerfully: “When you downloaded iOS 8, your computer looked at your phone like it was a new device and it didn’t have the necessary driver.”

With a few finger strokes that even Stephen couldn’t follow, the deed was done. Driver installed, laptop and phone embraced and kissed, the music in the store rose to a crescendo, fade to black, all good.

“How would I have known to do that” I asked. “There was no consensus in the online conversations.”

“There’s an article on the Apple site, hard to find,” he said. “I just know this stuff.”

And, that’s why he’s… a Genius.

So where does that leave Stephen? I’m sure he’d be helpful for run of the mill installation, connectivity, and other garden variety problems. For anything more complicated, I now know that Thomas is the man. He expertise is SO clear, and he’s so elegantly masterful and fast, why would I want to deal with anyone else?

Thought Question: Where is your expertise so clear and masterful that clients wouldn’t want to deal with anyone but you?

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