Beware: new version of ‘Beltway Bandit’

Developments in D.C. technology have created new definitions of “beltway bandit,” according to Joshua Konowe, serial entrepreneur and founding member of multiple startups in the region. He warns of “folks who are masquerading as experts in the field.”

“The reality is that they may have had some small measure of success… [and] we just simply buy into the fact that they’re experts in their field,” Konowe told What’s Working in Washington.

“When you do your...

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Developments in D.C. technology have created new definitions of “beltway bandit,” according to Joshua Konowe, serial entrepreneur and founding member of multiple startups in the region. He warns of “folks who are masquerading as experts in the field.”

“The reality is that they may have had some small measure of success… [and] we just simply buy into the fact that they’re experts in their field,” Konowe told What’s Working in Washington.

“When you do your homework on a lot of these folks, and figure out what’s really going on, there’s not a lot there,” he said.

The technology sector is susceptible to this type of faux-expert because of its accepting nature, “to just get to the next item, because we have so many problems to deal with in growing a business,” said Konowe.
The best avenue to get rid of faux-experts is to prevent them from becoming involved in the first place, he says.

“We have to do our homework. When we’re kids, we’re told, ‘You have to sit down, you have to learn your math…’ and a lot of the times, again, because we’re rushing, we don’t go back to do the research on these folks,” said Konowe.

Although the general attitude is to help others up the ladder when possible, “the truth is, not everybody really deserves to have that accolade or that positioning within the technology community, until they’ve actually done these things,” Konowe said.

To spot a truly successful potential partner, Konowe recommends research into people who are known entities.

“Go after the biggest names that are out there that are public, that everybody knows, and can point to, because they already have measured results,” he said.

Listen to entire June 26 show: