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Rockstars or Roadies: Who's the Better Employee?

#sxsw #RockRRoad

When building a team, what should you be looking for -- those talented, amazing people that can do it all, need no supervision, and will drive faster than you can keep up… OR those easy-to-get-along-with, everyone-loves-them, pulls-a-team-together types who just do the dirty work no one else wants to do, keep everything humming along, and DO WHAT THEY'RE TOLD?

"Rockstars" -- the former -- command high salaries, need a constant stream of challenging problems, and are likely to fight for their solution over all others. They might throw tantrums, sulk or just quit if they don't think their (admittedly) incredible talents are being recognized. And sometimes they'll just go off and do whatever they think is a good idea, and not tell anyone.

"Roadies" -- the latter -- might not get as much done in superheated stretches of productivity, but they can be counted on to stick to the plan, to finish tedious tasks, and to get along with their peers. Not as flashy, don't draw a crowd, but behind the scenes they quietly take care of the business that needs taking care of.

Which should you go for? Should you alternate? Do you only need one rockstar? Is the whole distinction fatuous? Will any other panel include the word "fatuous" in its description?



Corey Reid Chief Cat Herder FreshBooks


Heather Gold Ms Subvert

social artist, comedian, writer, keynote speaker, web veteran

Joe Stump CTO SimpleGeo Inc

Joe Stump has been scaling large websites for over ten years. After spending a few years as Digg's Lead Architect he struck out on his own, with Matt Galligan, to found SimpleGeo. As CTO of SimpleGeo he's responsible for architecting and scaling a robust GIS infrastructure for developers around the world.

Joe has authored pieces for O'Reilly's and has spoken at Web 2.0 Expo, FOWA, FOWD, Q-Con, SXSW, MySQL Conference and PHP-Con, to name a few.

Joe is an expert in the LAMP stack and graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BA in Computer Information Systems.

Patti Chan Dir, Project Mgmt Intridea

Patti Chan is an ex-rockstar turned team leader, making websites for over ten years. As Director of Project Management at Intridea, Inc., Patti mobilizes great developers, designers, and PM's for startup clients and Fortune 500 alike. After spending years as a UX designer, frontend/Coldfusion/Rails programmer, and founding a successful startup, she's learned firsthand what it takes to craft rock-solid products for the likes of National Geographic, White Pages, Citigroup, STX Lacrosse and more.

Patti has lectured at top universities, been profiled in the Baltimore Business Journal, and hosted Ignites on both coasts. She rounds out her geek cred with a BA in Psychology, and Enterpreneurship & Management from the Johns Hopkins University.

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