Power of the Network

Reid Hoffman is the founder of LinkedIn and he talks about this and the power of the network. There is nobody better to articulate those benefits than Reid. 

Entrepreneurship is required today because the old adage of go to school, get a good job and retire, is dead. You need to put yourself in a position to make sure you have security. You need to help yourself first and then you can help others. This is not a selfish act. If you look at what Warren Buffett has done for charity, he created his fortune first and helped in a much bigger way later in life. 

"The Start-Up of You" is broken down into seven parts. In this blog post, I will focus on three.

1. Develop a Competitive Advantage – All successful tech companies know this. Otherwise they would not be successful. What value do you bring to the table? What unique skills and insights do you possess? In the business world, this is known as your unique value proposition. In our software company, we spent a lot of time creating a unique value proposition and it has made all the difference in the world. You need to do the same for yourself. This is true if you are going to start a business or work for a company. People need differentiation. 

2. I to the Power of WE – This signifies the strength of your network. Your network consists of both strong and weak links and both are very valuable. In LinkedIn, if you have 170 first level connections then you are only three layers away from connecting to over 2 million people. This is very important especially if you are looking for new opportunities or for specific expertise to advance your company or yourself. The power of who you know makes all the difference and can shave years off of obtaining your goals. 

3. Pursue Breakout Opportunities - This one is straight forward in theory but sometimes hard to execute. How do you know if they are breakout opportunities? In our business we have sold products in the past that had very little market. This is not recommended. This was early in my career and there is nothing better than learning a lesson with a baseball bat. This simple lesson costs us years in time and a lot of wasted money. Have you ever watched the show Shark Tank? On the show, people have to pitch the billionaire panel and ask them for investments in their ideas. These billionaire's sniff out in the first 20 seconds the market for the idea. If the market is small or commodity then they do not invest. 

"The Start-Up of You" is a really good book that I highly recommend you read. Remember that one of the fastest ways to success is following somebody who has already done what you want to do. This can save you years of work if executed correctly. 

I hope you have found this short summary useful. Don't hesitate to reach out of you have any questions; I am more than happy to answer them. Thanks for reading! T

Joe Mosed