The "wow, that's cool" factor allows a geek to attain certain trance-like mindsets and such focussed drive towards specific issues that cause them to be behaviourally different than non-geeks.
This may involve isolation, abnormal affect, extreme intelligence in narrow fields, distrust of authority, arrogance, and more.
A telltale sign of a geek is that they may not have a distinction between work and home, or work and play.
Some people have said, "If a geek only had the motivation of such and such [normal person]." To this I scoff. To bestow a normal person's motivation, or a sales-motivation, upon a geek is to remove the geek. It is specifically this altered reward/motivation system that creates the geek mindset.
There are groups of people who could be called quasi-geek. They have geek tendancies and occasionally will find themselves caught up in a geek-trance.
Then there are the others. This involves both highly-motivated people like sales and executives, as well as the average sheep.
Within this, I say that any successful technology company should use only quasi-geeks for middle management. Only highly-motivated people should be in sales.
Higher management may lean more towards high-motivation, but should still have quasi-geek comprehension if not faint tendancies. Lower-management, such as technical or research management, should be filled only by geeks.
They should be allowed to be partial geek, even if this means spreading management responisbility among a team in order to get it. Along the same lines, sales managers should be sales minded.
The reason for this is that the further from the resources a manager is, the more they need to comprehend truly what the workers are doing. Statistics are only useful from a proper context.
I believe it is a horrid shame that certain high-tech companies have not enforced this, and continue to staff technical-manager positions with clerical managers. No matter how well you train a cleric, they will still be a cleric.
They will still not comprehend how to use a geek. They think assembly line and do not provide the proper troughs to match the peaks, nor do they comprehend how to fully utilize a geek resource, because they are not geek.
This derived from a "what is geek" confo with my wife, and my general outlook on work. A simple, summation statement that should be aparent to any full-geek follows:
My manager decided for me that to increase my DCE skill from a 2 to a 3 (on a 5 point scale) should only take 16 hours of lab time.
This was after I had conceded to only ask for 40 hours. My manager has never been a tech and doesn't even like to use the text-login tools we have. Only graphs, charts, and summed data please.
How do you explain that 16 hours MIGHT POSSIBLY be enough time to assess what the time requirements are when the person is so lacking in context? I think I might need 16 hours to plan my plan. Probably 8 hours to build a system and set up a cell.
Then backups, maybe 30 mins hands-on plus an outage of howeverlong. Then randomly break things and see what happens and restore? How much time to figure out what to break? What about learning terminology? That could take a couple of days.
Why is a week so hard to get? Oh, yah, we're staffed appropriately, except, we're not. Skew numbers. Adjust stats. Then, staff for average and complain when peak isn't handled and when troughs are full of burnt-out zombification.
Did I mention, no classes exist anymore, and oh, yah, no equipment. And, everything must be preemptable. That's right, must do lab work in 5-30 mins segments.