The Passion of the CTO: Episode 39

This is your CTO
This is your CTO, Jason Nash
This is your CTO ice fishing
This is your CTO ice fishing

In what may be our best podcast yet, Jason Nash, CTO of technology solutions company Varrow, gives us his frank views on the value of social media and technical evangelism. For Jason, the value is clear.  Employees engaged in the technical community help drive the business while they grow personally and technically.

[Note: updated truncated mp3. The correct file should be 57 minutes.]

The topic this week was generally around vendor “influencer/advocacy” programs like the VMware vExperts, EMC Elect, and Cisco Champions. It’s also about the benefits of being in a program like this, and how one consulting company finds value in encouraging and rewarding its employees for giving back to the technical community.

Some of the topics we talk about:

– Why Varrow doesn’t have a corporate blog

– How having two engineers as founders set the course for Varrow

– What sharing multiple perspectives from the community is important

– How basic 101-level content is as important as the more complicated stuff

– How sales comes to understand the value of participating in the community

– Why Varrow pays employees to get certifications and join vendor influencer program

-Why Varrow pays a higher bonus for program like vExpert, EMC Elect, and Cisco Champions than some certifications!

– The recipe to becoming an influencer is less a precise pastry recipe than a general stew recipe. People don’t fit in checkboxes.

Breadpig is a company that acts as a “Kickstart midwife”

– Program support gives a framework for the passionate to do their thing

– The benefit to Varrow for its employees participating in community activities and influencer programs

– How customers perceive Varrow and their employees as influencers

– How do we measure Passion vs a certification measuring technical knowledge

– Programs that recognize individuals vs programs that recognize companies

– We form a single community, customers and consultants and vendor employees alike. Predators and prey are all geeks together.

– How all the similar-seeming influencer programs from different companies are actually very different

– The necessity of having a culture that encourages this kind of grass-roots behavior and passion

– Influence and employee retention

– Jason’s blog is at and his Twitter handle is @thejasonnash


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  1. […] VMware expends in managing it, the continued success of VMware in the market and the increasing awareness that employers have as to it’s value, it appears the vExpert brand has never been […]

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