Two articles I came across at the weekend.

The first mentioned a book by Seth Godin (who’s blog can be accessed from the blogroll in the left hand column) called Small is the New Big. Here Godin presents a collection of ideas with “themes that include being big is no longer an advantage, so act small if you want to be big; with instant communication, lies get exposed faster than ever; consumers are more powerful than ever; and Aretha Franklin is correct: respect is the secret to success with people“.

I’ll be checking the book out myself soon so keep watching this space. If anyone’s read it love to hear your reviews.

The second article in Saturday’s Guardian described a huge conference style event that took place in Vegas this weekend. The TopCoder Open is an annual tournament where 116,000 members to write the best software to create applications for big clients. Winning teams and individuals can win big money, big contracts and big reputations.

Pretty intimidating perhaps; but most of these people are not entering for the big prize. As with any industry event they want the opportunity to network; hold conversations with like-minds; generate and get feedback on their ideas and see how they stack up against everyone elses ideas. Ultimately they want to see if they are as good as they think they are.

How do you know how good you are? Who do you benchmark against? Internal or external? Same industry or different? Nationally or internationally? Who do you have around you that you consider to be better than you and how often do you reflect on what you have learnt from them?