Beware of the nerds

You remember them from your University days? These people who would do your homework, tutor you for your exam, come over to repair your water heater, open the door when you locked yourself out, fix your computer, your bike, your car? They would give you their lunch boxes, lent you their books which they never reminded you to give them back, and they returned your overdue books to the library paying your penalty for it, without ever mentioning it. They were useful, resourceful and friendly. But they were also a bit exhausting to deal with. They invited you to museums, the theatre, a lecture, and they cook at home instead of going to a restaurant. 

And what did you call them when gossiping with your friends? Nerd, weird, gay ...? And what did the nerds do then? They perhaps made a better lunch box and shared it again. Not for some religious belief, but because they already understood why you are doing that. And they did not mind. This made them even weirder in your eyes. Usually, with graduation, these people disappeared. They choose different paths. But be aware, you might see them again. 

Nerds are one of the strongest "secret societies" you can imagine. They are everywhere. They may be the chairman of your company or running your R&D department. They may be sitting in front of you, next time you pitch for funding of your company. Or perhaps they are your doctor when you are sick. Perhaps they run the theatre you go, the museum you bring your kids. They may be the painter you like or the owner of the patent you need. Nerds learn how to adapt over time. They are not that easy to recognize later in life. They have no special way to shake hands or secret riddles to identify to each other. But when you find a real breakthrough technology, product, service or thought somewhere, then follow the signs. It is very likely they will guide you to somebody whose book you still have somewhere. It is still time to return it, by the way. Never too late.