Hey! I *didn't* enter a prize! • 29 March 2008 • The SnowBlog

Hey! I *didn't* enter a prize!

Rob will be pleased with me. Last year I was shortlisted for the UK's Young Publisher of the Year nibbie, which was great, until it got to the evening of the award when my small brain finally started to think about what would happen if I won it. See, not only did you get a shiny nib trophy, but you also had the 'opportunity' to go to India for 6 weeks to learn about the Indian publishing industry. Great - unless you happen to be one of a tiny team running a company for whom the idea of being away from the business for more than an afternoon would require serious thought. As it turns out, I didn't win, so I didn't have to make a painful choice about whether or not to go. And this year the organisers seem to have taken that on board. They have reduced the amount of time away (this year in Argentina) from 6 to 2 weeks. This would still give me pause for thought, though, plus I have to say I hate travelling anyway (be a consultant for a few years if you want the gloss of travel well and truly dulled). So this year I didn't enter, because I think other people would find the experience so much more rewarding than I would if I happened to win. In fact, let me be blunt - the travelling aspect would be a right pain in the whatsit to me, requiring juggling of time and money and probably not directly helping my business, whereas others will find it thrilling and useful. As it turns out, by having a baby I'm going to have to do far more juggling and arranging of things than even a 6 month trip to India would require, so I suppose it can be done if it has to be done. But the point of this post is this: I think that the organisers should consider whether, in structuring the award this way, they are biasing it in favour of people who work for large companies. Large companies are geared up to cope with absences. If an owner-manager wins, they will have to make a sacrifice to take up the prize. As well as the time away problem, during the period of the travel the organisers do not pay the winner a salary. Fine if you're in a large company - but where does the money come from in a one-man-band? Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't feel that the organisers have really got inside the heads of owner managers to come up with a prize that would be really useful and valuable to them, and therefore they bias the prize towards those in large companies. And that's why I didn't enter.


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