From what I have heard, it makes a successful pickup-line nowadays to tell you are involved in Software Engineering (“hey, I am in Google’s Project Glass, you want something to drink?”). With so many innovations going on in mobile, social and entertainment technology, it is legitimately cool to be the geek that is in the centre of creating all that goodness. So indeed, it seems very appropriate timing to launch the Super Techies Show: broadcasted every Saturday evening at prime time by the Indian business channel ET Now, it is the world’s first reality show of its kind. In eight episodes, it challenges some of the brightest minds in the country to apply their technology skills and insights to solve real business problems in new, unexplored ways.

I was fortunate enough to have a small role as a jury member in a few episodes, including the very first one that aired this Saturday. This first challenge was made by the amiable Rajeev Jorapur, CIO of Mercedes-Benz India: how to apply innovative technology to create a ‘wow’ experience for potential customers of Mercedes-Benz.  And although there is absolutely no substitute for watching the episode yourself, let me share just one key insight.

It’s one thing to have a solid blueprint of how the enabling information platform – including real-time, in-memory analytics, customer profiling and 3D visualization, the real convincing starts when you have a handful of compelling story lines, from the consumer’s perspective, to illustrate what the impact will be. Techies in general might struggle with this, as their comfort zone is often around creating analytical, theoretical foundations, rather than telling engaging stories.

With two teams engaged in a dead heat, one team managed on the spot to produce an appealing use case from the consumer perspective when they were asked to. And although their closest contestants had slightly more advanced, innovative solutions, it was this down-to-earth, hands-on capability that won over the jury for them.

After all – to stay on topic – it is matter of bringing the rubber to the road, even for Super Techies.