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The Best Athlete
The Minnesota Vikings use to employ a philosophy of drafting the best available athlete regardless of their position or the team's immediate needs. An interesting philosophy in that the Vikings believed that with the best athletes they could and would win a Super Bowl Unfortunately for the Vikings, this rule did not apply to coaches who lose NFC Championship Games at home. Yes, the loss to Atlanta (even after all these years) still stings.

For sales, many companies ignore the 'best athlete' philosophy and hire based on tenure, industry experience, product knowledge, and market connections. I have always believed that hiring in this manner is a poor indicator of future success, and I believe that it is only prevalent in my profession because its the safe decision to make. No one gets fired for hiring a person with the right pedigree? Its this line of thinking that allows the general public to think less of the professional salesperson.

For life, the path to success is almost always filled with hardship and pain. That's why its the lesser traveled road. In sales, I believe that the 'best athlete' is the salesperson who has achieved their success while overcoming significant challenges. In sales, consistently fighting through adversity is the hallmark of a champion. There is no substitute for the planning and tenacity that it takes to be truly successful, and this gift is not honed to a sharp point overnight. Personally, I truly enjoy surrounding myself with these types of people. Working with these 'best athletes' forces me raise my game and in turn become more successful.

For the marketplace, we are seeing many more consumers select the 'best athlete' as their personal computer. Apple and Linux are on the rise because more consumers are demanding better performance, greater usability, better functionality, greater style, more power, better value, and (maybe most important) fewer vulnerabilities. While Microsoft has the better pedigree, its performance has been compromised over its last few releases culminating with Vista. Even though Microsoft is still the safer decision for IT professionals, this decision is no longer going unchallenged because usability and functionality are becoming more critical. The end result is that we are receiving more requests from businesses and consumers wanting to run their PC applications on other platforms. From government agencies to educational departments to individual users, we are seeing the 'best athlete' philosophy is starting to take root. If these groups of consumers continue supporting these platforms instead of being satisfied with status quo, they may achieve the greatness associated with winning the Super Bowl (darn the Vikings!!).

For CodeWeavers, we are one of the 'supplements' making the 'best athlete' better. Consumers are becoming very interested in CrossOver because it is in-line with their desire for something better. CodeWeavers is essentially giving them their cake, and this message is slowly getting out to the masses. The positive reviews in the trade publications along with the press from Google is helping mainstream our efforts and is creating greater awareness for our software. As more consumers refuse the acceptance of solutions less apt to meet their needs, our growth and prevalence in the marketplace will only continue to increase. We might even live in a world where one day Microsoft is no longer reflective of a safe decision but of a decision made without much effort. I think even when that happens the Minnesota Vikings will still have a difficult time making the Super Bowl.

About James B. Ramey
ames B. Ramey is the CEO of CodeWeavers. His life long love of video gaming started at the tender age of six with an Atari 2600 and evolved over time to include Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Apple Mac IIc, Windows PC, and MacBook Pro. When not fiddling with technology, James enjoys cooking, travel, debating politics in the office, and spending time with his wife, daughter, and their two rescue dogs. For the past 20 years, James has worked with clients around the world in best implementing technology to maximize a return on their investment. He is a graduate of Moorhead State University and earned his MBA from the University of Phoenix. You can find James on Twitter at @jbramey.

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