Networking in Silicon Valley

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Rules of Thumb, skmurphy

The best advice on networking I have read comes from Ford Harding’s book “Rain Making” in particular pages 44-59 have some very good “Rules of Thumb” for networking:

  • Networking is helping people
  • You must learn to recognize a lead for someone else when you hear it
  • Networking is a sincere effort rather than keeping score
  • Networking is a sense of urgency and obligation
  • Networking is showing gratitude
  • Networking is maintaining trust
  • Networking requires you to spend some of your time selling other firm’s products and services.
  • You must selective in who you partner with as these are a serious investment of time.
  • Motivation is critical ingredient in effective networking.

For a profile of a very effective networker see “Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg” by Malcolm Gladwell.

One of the secrets to navigating Silicon Valley, is that it’s actually a very small place with many connections, some take a while to discover are nonetheless quite potent. That being said the single most important thing to avoid is wasting people’s time. Time is more scarce than capital, technology, or knowledge.

Update February 19, 2009: Ford Harding E-mailed me a reminder to link to his second addition of Rainmaking, called “Rainmaking Attracting New Clients No Matter What Your Field” which has 40% new material in preference to his older addition of “Rainmaking.” The pages referenced in this blog post are from his first edition.

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Comments (5)

  • Ford Harding

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    Sean

    Many thanks for your kind comments on my book, \”Rain Making.\” It takes so much work to write a book, that i really appreciate knowing that someone has found it helpful. An updated version with a lot of new content will be out in February, \’08.

    I also have a second book, \”Creating Rain Makers\” recently reissued by Wiley.

    Ford

    Reply

  • SKMurphy » Two Professional Groups for Consultants

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    [...] Run it as a business: have a one page plan of attack (”Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants” by Michael McLaughlin and “Rainmaking” by Ford Harding are two excellent books for guidance on how to do a business and marketing plan for a consulting practice. Understand the tax implications of the various forms a business can take and if you are targeting the Fortune 500 (or Silicon Valley 150) what will be required for your firm to qualify as an approved vendor. [...]

    Reply

  • SKMurphy » Customer Development for a Consulting Practice in a Downturn

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    [...] As you are out there “frantic..chasing every lead” carry others folks cards and website addresses with you so that even thought it’s not a fit for you it may be a good fit for someone else. I refer business to other consultants frequently. You have to see yourself as part of a larger system or community that will prosper together (or not). See also my “Networking in Silicon Valley” from July of 2007 where I observed: One of the secrets to navigating Silicon Valley, is that it’s actually a very small place with many connections: some that can take a while to discover are nonetheless quite potent. That being said the single most important thing to avoid is wasting people’s time. Time is more scarce than capital, technology, or knowledge. [...]

    Reply

  • SKMurphy » Three Things I’ve Learned About Networking

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    [...] “Networking in Silicon Valley” from July of 2007 where I observed: “One of the secrets to navigating Silicon Valley, is that it’s actually a very small place with many connections: some that can take a while to discover are nonetheless quite potent. That being said the single most important thing to avoid is wasting people’s time. Time is more scarce than capital, technology, or knowledge.” [...]

    Reply

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