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How to Become Well-Connected (firstround.com)
573 points by rchen8 on Apr 25, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 140 comments



This whole thing has a huge assumption behind it: That you're someone worth being connected to.

His distinction between the Hunted and the Hunters is great, but 99% of people don't fall into the "Hunted" category unless they are doing something exceptional - and even those doing something exceptional aren't typically hunted.

So while I think this is a good list, and it's pretty bog standard Carnegie/How to read people/HUMINT etc..., the most important thing you can do to become well connected is to be doing something that is worth connecting to.


I think there is also of course the distinction of the known VS unknown person doing something worth connecting to. Lots of people who are doing things that probably are not worth much consideration are simply good at selling themselves as something greater and vice versa.

So if you believe you are doing something worth connecting to, you better be ready to sell yourself as well. Or risk drowning in the noise.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm neither well-connected nor currently doing much worth connecting to :)


That's the point here.

There are a lot of people out there applying these principals who don't really do shit, but by god they are "well connected." You see them at all these entrepreneur events and all they do is waste everyone's time with their bullshit. In the end it doesn't matter how well connected they are because they have no vector and no capabilities. These are the guys who consistently tell you how they are incidentally connected to someone who has actually done something - why? because that's all they know how to do. Worthless.

On the flip side there are the brilliant people out there who have done something notable but haven't made anything of it or made any connections because they see the guy from the first paragraph and recoil in horror. That's who I think this article is probably for. Not sure how to reach those folks practically though.


> These are the guys who consistently tell you how they are incidentally connected to someone who has actually done something - why? because that's all they know how to do. Worthless.

On the whole I agree with you. However, that's not completely worthless. There is some amount of value in being able to connect people. However, you need to be able to make meaningful connections. And that's where people with no vector and no capabilities have trouble. You don't have to have done something worth connecting to. But you do need to understand enough about the details of what the people you're connected to have to done to be able to make a meaningful connection.


I don't know if you're a techie or a businessman but my feedback is almost the same either way. The people you describe are usually quiet / shy -- or simply don't throw themselves at people's faces, which is something very different.

I am the latter type; if you hit me with an interesting topic, I can talk with you for hours and will very rarely repeat myself (how valuable what I am saying for you is of course strongly dependent on your interests). But I won't come to you trying to catch a conversation about what I find interesting. I'd be much more likely approaching you with a generic opener and try and find what you do find worth talking about. Anyway, here's what I believe is a good approach to the people who do things in private but [almost] don't network (like myself):

- Don't assume quiet people are not interesting. EVER. My wife is easily the most intelligent human being I've ever met and I've had to work a lot during our first year in the relationship until she started openly sharing what she thinks about this or that. And then I found myself having my mind blown by very different perspectives, many times, consistently, to this day (we're about to have a third anniversary very soon). Some people are not amazing at striking a conversation but if you manage to engage them, you might discover a treasure.

- Show genuine interest in what the person is doing at the event you both find yourself meeting at. I'd be very honest with you and one good example of that honesty would be: "I believe I spent so much time perfecting my engineering skills, and now I simply want to listen what people need from technology; how do they want their lives improved by it". That would probably open a plethora of possible follow-up topics.

- Many of the people of my type find networking and investing in a portfolio / GitHub profile / LinkedIn profile / general reputation a low priority activity. That's of course horribly misguided since millions of years of social instincts can't be overriden but there you go; I am 37 and only now I started actually understanding the value of these, and started slowly working on them. That's the thing: I've been busy with far too many other things to even consider networking for so long. Food for thought IMO; strike a conversation accentuating what the person is thinking and doing now, not what he/she was doing all their life up to this point. The past can wait for a later convo.

- Finally, as the article suggested, do offer some value to the conversation even if you find yourself getting a lot of important information for free. I am a bad salesman of information and I'd tell you a lot of things we the programmers do without telling our bosses (one random example; another one would be some trade secrets) but if 15 minutes later I realize that you haven't offered a single interesting piece of info or a compelling question, I'll politely excuse myself and will go look for another person to chat with.

Hope that helps a bit.


They have to be somewhere to engage with though online or otherwise. I'm talking about the ones that never really go anywhere or talk to anyone.

I'm a techie turned business guy, and I used to be one of those that never went out there and talked about my stuff.

When I was a teenager I always thought the way that it would work is that someone was going to come to my door and say "we've been secretly watching you build this hacked together hardware for audio phase analysis and resonance tuning. Here's millions of dollars and congratulations you're going to meet the president."

That's the kind of people that I'm talking about being impossible to reach.


Yes, sadly I used to think like that as well. To an extent, I still do, but I am gradually going out of my shell.

To me it's almost impossibly hard to start treating networking like a healthy activity and NOT like yet another obligation. Once I overcome that, everything else will come much easier (at least I hope so).


What's this advice for? It's the object of your advice (the people, like you, who don't network), not the subject, who "needs" to become better-connected/more well-known/achieve higher social capital.


The parent commenter said:

> Not sure how to reach those folks practically though.

I offered my comment as an advice on how to talk to such people, at least as far as my exprience and confirmation bias go.


You apply the principles to the principals.


This whole thing has a huge assumption behind it: That you're someone worth being connected to.

Yes, but not necessarily in the way that you mean. In trading, it's said that you make your money in the buying and not in the selling. In networking, you can go after the "hunted," which is basically buying high. If you already have the "funds" for that, it might even be the smart move. As a networker, you can also go after fellow "hunters." You can seek value which hasn't been widely recognized yet.

the most important thing you can do to become well connected is to be doing something that is worth connecting to.

It seems to me, that a good thing to do is to recognize the worth early. "Buy low," then sell high.


I think that is also in part of what the blog post says. You put out seeds. Some of them grow, some don't be prepare to give little things and not get anything in return. As a result some of these connections will yield a high payout after some time. Exactly like when investing your money.


I interpreted much of the article as being advice for the "hunter", who is not necessarily worth connecting to. For example, do your research beforehand, keep your requests short and reasonable, don't make false pretenses, don't oversell yourself, etc.


I don't think you have to be doing something interesting to be worth conned to. I know plenty of people who are just very pleasant to deal with and are well connected without having special skills. I am not one of them...


Disagree completely. Social media is full of people worth being connected to for no other reason than they have connections. The work world is the same. No matter who you are and who you know you have something to share. Connect with people in a meaningful way and you become the maven, the hunted.


Being worth being connected to can be as simple as having other connections that are worthwhile, and dilligently thinking about who the people you talk to could benefit from talking to and offer to make introductions. It won't make you "hunted" overnight, but do that, and keep pushing the limit of who you try to get to connect to you, and your connections will relatively quickly make people want to talk to you.


I've met those people, but in every case they had some value outside of their superconnector status that got them there. Either they were doing it for increased dealflow, or to source services or whatever.

In fact I can think of one right now, he is a lawyer in SF and his whole schitck was to build this huge network for free, with a lot of socials and get togethers for founders and CEOs, basically to source new clients and get in early on deals.


> This whole thing has a huge assumption behind it: That you're someone worth being connected to.

Then make yourself worth being connected to. It doesn't have to be in a "the person who does X" way. It can be as simple as the person people want to take a coffee break with, or the person you want to go for beers with, or the person you ask to help when you move!


It doesn't have to be in a "the person who does X" way.

I'd disagree with this. Otherwise what good are you if you aren't "the person who does X?"

Is there someone out there who thousands of people explicitly only want to take a coffee break with? I mean I want to have a coffee break with a lot of people, but not cause they are good coffee drinkers, but because they have made significant progress in some thing I care about.

The two things you describe as the core of what people are are effectively a therapist (the person who [communicates]) and a moving company (the person who [you ask to help when moving]) respectively. Otherwise those are just regular friends...not "connections." Outside of the scope of this article.


You don't need to become famous. People strongly value personal affectations over professional skill. Failure to acknowledge this is simply wishful thinking.

Consider that most of your indirect colleagues are not well-versed enough to know whether you're doing your job well or not in the first place.

Why are so many clowns in positions with high rank, and so many better-qualified people are further down the totem pole? Because people don't respond naturally to qualifications. They respond to getting their personal interests and desires satisfied.

If you present a credible professional front and you are well-liked, that's all that matters, and you will be well-connected and rewarded well outside of any rational proportion.


This is very true in my experience. I can recognize the "People don't respond naturally to qualifications. They respond to getting their personal interests and desires satisfied." everywhere.

Of course a very bright engineer will naturally achieve some success, but there will always be a bar limiting his growth to how much people who can open new doors want him around and trust (in a very personal sense) him.


I think this is a cop out.

Soft skills are real, they are skills and they have have value in both in professional and personal settings.


Yeah, I think that's what I was saying?


Just be a nice person. That'd not easy if you don't have the social skills but it works for a lot of people.


Amen


Title is obviously a little click-baity. But I can attest that Chris Fralic practices what he preaches.

Back in 2013, yours truly was a fresh college grad, fresh off the boat, to play the SV lottery.

He took an hour long meeting with us, and politely declined to invest and explained his reasoning (probably the only VC who did that and which I really appreciated at that time since pretty much everyone else 'let me circle back'-ed out of orbit).

He could have cut us of there, but he went the extra mile, got us a couple of passes for us to the ChannelAdvisor conference in Vegas that year - through which we ended up getting a couple of customers!


I consider myself reasonably outgoing, but I've always viewed "networking" as kind of slimy and insincere. At a fundamental level, population A has little to offer / little power and population B has a lot, and networking is the set of personal interactions that population A employs in order to have a shot at interacting/transacting with population B. The "hunter/hunted" relationship mentioned in this article is a key differentiator between networking and other forms of human interaction. All of the various tactics described in this article and others about effective networking just seem to boil down to pretty abstractions on top of that crass business logic. Convey genuine appreciation, listen with intent, blah blah blah--everyone doing the dance knows what the music is all about. Nobody is fooling anyone.

Networking is definitely a skill, I'll give you that, but it has the sincerity of a sales pitch.


Here's an approach you might like.

Let's say you go to a tech meetup. Because of the abysmal state of social augmentation tech, there are likely many people there who could have a good conversation, but won't. Either because they never run into each other, or they talk without knowing they have some common interest. You're in a position to help them.

Assuming you're interested in people anyway, it's little extra work to explore what they're interested in, what difficulties they're encountering, and what they're looking for. And given that the population of such meetups are already filtered for common interests, my experience is you quickly hit "You know, I was talking with someone earlier who <matching interest>. Maybe you'd like to chat with them? Let's see, where... ah, over there, black shirt."

No long-term state. No wrestling with wretched CRM systems. Just interesting conversations, and knowing people likely had better outcomes because you were there.

And if you wish to, you also get lots of opportunity to help people towards greater clarity about what they want. "As I talk with people, sometimes I notice they're interested in the same thing, and I try to point them at each other. But I'm a little unclear on <some unclear aspect of what the person wants>."

I don't always do it. But for me, I find it makes many meetups more interesting.


>Networking is definitely a skill, I'll give you that, but it has the sincerity of a sales pitch.

I mostly agree but there are two different kinds of networking. The kind you are referring to is what I like to call "ball gargling". This is when someone is just trying to pitch how relevant they are to someone who doesn't really care so all kinds of lame sales tactics have to be used to keep interest.

Then there is networking with peers, which can be a pretty enjoyable experience. For example, meeting other researchers at an academic conference or meeting other developers at industry conferences. These connections might not provide an immediate return on investment, but they certainly seem to last longer and have proven to be immensely useful years down the road (at least anecdotally for me).


I generally get a slimy feeling whenever I interact with someone who is clearly applying some kind of rules of how to interact, make you feel comfortable and listened to, nodding at the right times and fake-laughing on cue, all the while I feel more and more uncomfortable and alienated. There are certain things you've either got or haven't got. You can't read a book to be good with people any more than to become a good comedian.

However, I would prefer that people at least be explicit about the fact they're doing such things. Then it's just process, and not fake and uncomfortable.


This reminds me of the lessons in Give and Take by Adam Grant. There is almost a Zen aspect of sincere networking. The more your end goal is to simply network with others and increase your network the less sincere you are likely to operate. However if you go to an event or gathering with a genuine curiosity and freely listen to others with no expectation of return and develop an ability to actually care (in that moment, at least, but really more deeply) your network will easily grow. Events and conversations have often led to cool places when I have interacted with others with no expectation of return.

Grant would just say you are acting as a Giver in the social context. This is very powerful and people react to it. A lot of people get good at purposefully faking being a Giver, precisely because your sole intention is to manipulate with forethought about how you can come out ahead (take) or at least come out equal to others in a social setting. Pure takers are honestly a little creepy because it shows a rather high level of self focus that (in my experience) tends to make someone a negative.


It's pretty much a gift that you're either born with or have to work your soul off to attain (not directly; more like "let life beat you up so bad that you find yourself humble and respectful").

I too dislike the people who poorly fake the techniques to win over people. My immediate subconscious reaction is:

"They have no other skills and they are desperate to increase their network. Do they have any real skills?"


I would argue you can network easily with others by simply having a genuine interest in what they are doing and what they have to tell you about it. Not a gift. Minimal skill required. Most people generally want to tell you all about what they are doing and it takes very little prompting other than genuine questions.

The gift you refer to is, to me, mostly being good at understanding and purposefully manipulating the emotional state of other people to achieve whatever goal you have.


I think we agree but we simply use different terms.

The gift I am referring to is actually being genuinely interested -- and this seems to be hard for many since they're too caught up doing only their own thing, and reacting violently or cynically in a very ugly manner <-- when advised to show genuine interest.

To understand and manipulate an emotional state is to me an acquirable skill.

Quite a funny opposite understanding we have. :) Do note, I am not gonna argue if either of us is right or wrong.


The "Be genuinely interested..." networking advice is like dating advice to "Be rich and good looking".


Not really. It means you have to be curious. You can't fake that.

Many people don't care about anything beyond their most direct activities. Such people are horrible at faking curiosity (and thus the genuine interest we're talking about).


> There are certain things you've either got or haven't got. You can't read a book to be good with people any more than to become a good comedian.

Reading a math textbook doesn't make you a good mathematician either. It takes practice too, and we should be charitable of others who are perhaps trying to practice and improve their skills, no matter the subject.


Most of the books (Dale Carnegie etc) actually tell you not to do those things. Genuinely listen to people, be honest, don't fake interest or anything else.

That you are "born with it" may apply at the level of high-level national politics or something like that, but for most of us, it's just another skill and the books are helpful.


I once traveled to a conference with my PhD supervisor, and I confessed how slimy networking was making me uncomfortable. He said, without any irony: 'you're not here to network, you're here to make friends!'

Treating it that way, just be honest about what I do, what they do etc. definitely helped me make a bunch of friends, if they're useful for my career it's an added bonus.

(If you're a supervisor reading this: please make sure that if you're at a thing with your students, take pains to go around and introduce them to as many people as you can, it helps tremendously)


His whole point is the only "bad" networking has no sincerity. In "Good" networking you have to sincerely want to make a real connection to the other person. Its not just a does this person help me, its a how can I help this person.


This is definitely true for some people at some events. But it's entirely possible to make genuine and more personal interactions beyond the surface level. You just have to be genuine yourself. I have a pretty positive view on networking:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13961069


I always like comments where people are critical of a "sales pitch" while ignoring the fact that such an aCT exists because it communicates value and provides a person with info they need. In other words, sales pitches work.

So does networking...when done properly.


I think part of it is that only a bad sales pitch really comes off as a sales pitch to begin with. A good one feels like a helpful recommendation. Networking is similar--good networking feels like making friends, not something transactional. So when people think of sales or networking and get the creeps, it's because they're mainly remembering all the bad examples.


I wish articles like this would start with "hey, i come from a place of extreme privilege, and assuming you're in the same boat, here's what i did and it worked out ok for me given the amount of resources i had to take the risks i did."

Instead, it gets treated as a sort of recipe which further exacerbates the problem of selection bias and network bias.

A lot of this type of thinking is shielded by the immense wealth and agency that the kingmakers have. But the reality is that these types of networks are fraught with horse-traders and backchannel power exchanges.

I'm not hating though, I understand the game plays out like that. But if you're not cultivating a community of real people connected to you, you'll get chewed up.


> I wish articles like this would start with "hey, i come from a place of extreme privilege, and assuming you're in the same boat, here's what i did and it worked out ok for me given the amount of resources i had to take the risks i did."

I under your general sentiment but if you look at his Linked In (https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisfralic/) it seems to me that he worked himself into his current position slowly over the years. There are twelve years between when he graduated undergrad and where the article begins. Point being that everyone has an opportunity to work hard, put themselves in the right situations and eventually earn the right to be in a "place of privilege".


>Point being that everyone has an opportunity to work hard, put themselves in the right situations and eventually earn the right to be in a "place of privilege".

I don't actually think that's true. And the fact that the vast majority of tech investors and wealthy elites are white men is proof of that.

Either it is that everyone else doesn't "work hard and put themselves in the right situations," or there's some other factor (like prejudice and extreme privilege) that is creating barriers for others.

I'm not arguing that white men that have "made it" haven't worked hard to go that last mile, I'm just pointing out that these types of blog posts often fail acknowledge that their starting point is far ahead of everyone else. That lack of awareness is what contributes to the myth of "here's how to do this, and it's a meritocratic process."


Why? Sending emails from time to time checking in with people is not something you can only do coming from privilege. Looking for something small you can offer others as a "nice to meet you" present is also not something you need privilege for (It's just easier with than without). A friend of mine regularly baked cookies and brought them to office. Will never forget that colleague.


I believe the thesis of the OP isn't that only privileged people can bake cookies. It's that baking cookies is not enough, and the factors not under your control also influence the outcome.



Yes! To HNers out there that are put off by the title of the book, Please do not judge a book by it's cover! 'How to Win Friends...' is a classic book with real, gritty, and practical advice that really does help. If you have not yet read it, do yourself a favor, swallow the bitter pill that is the title, and read it this weekend. Almost no other book is better at helping you learn how to 'network' than this one (though if you know of a better one, please leave a comment!)


Agreed. The "influence people" part of the title really rubbed me the wrong way.

But after reading it, it's not at all about manipulating people. It could just as well be titled "How to be a pleasant human being", because that's what it's mostly about -- along with many anecdotes illustrating the positive consequence of behaving pleasantly and respectfully.


Better yet grab the audio book. It's not one of those books that is read for it's beautiful prose its read for its content. Perfect for listening when you have 15-25 minutes free.


It's so good that managers in many companies mandate that managers or support people read it. Another I liked was Lifetime Conversation Guide.


Yep, this article is a re-hash of what Dale Carnegie started teaching over 100 years ago. My main takeaway from that class was to ask enough questions when I meet someone so that I can to steer the conversation toward a mutual interest. After that the personal connection is made and conversation is fun and easy.

The best way to make an impression on someone is to ask questions about them until you find some


Carnegie's book boils down to one important principle, which he mentions but doesn't necessarily emphasize. The key to winning friends and influencing people: make them feel important. The rest of it is details, and probably details you've heard a lot before, since the culture has had a long time to internalize HTWFAIP (still a good read).

Our egos drive our behavior. The best way to boil Carnegie down is to always ask "Is the person's sense of importance going to be flattered or offended by this? How can I phrase it in a way that will at least not offend their importance, if I can't flatter it?"

This was a really good handle for me because I do believe that everyone is [potentially] important, and it makes sense to me that we should respect that fact in all interactions. It makes sense that people would avoid those who damage their own sense of self-importance, which they have every right to have.

This realization took away a lot of the reticence I felt around hand-crafted social experiences. It doesn't really require you to be untruthful in any way, or prevent you from getting your point across; it just gives a good guideline for how to do so sensitively.

Don't know if it will click for anyone else, but that's what did it for me.


Thanks for the summary. I haven't read the book yet, but I'll have to sometime. It's interesting that on one side you have Carnegie's "make them feel important to make them interested in you" and on the other side you have the pick-up artists' (I'm not defending them) "neg them to make them interested in you". In one variant you lift the other person up and in the other you push them down, both with the idea of wanting them to talk to you more.

I've heard that men that tease each other (in one sense making them feel less important) in groups do it as a bonding experience, because the fact that you can tease the other person without them punching you is a sign that you're members of the same group. On the other hand, gently teasing someone in a group can make them feel more important as well, since you're suggesting that they're important enough to deserve being teased.

With Carnegie on one side and the pick-up artists on the other, I'll obviously side with Carnegie's more positive view of human interactions. It also fits well with a tenet in improvisational theater that you should always make the other actor look good. You both benefit from that, especially if they do the same to you. If you make them look good, the audience thinks you're both good, and the other actor will want to play more scenes with you. It seems like an obvious suggestion, but what it does is it shifts your focus from what you can do to look good yourself to what you can do to make the other person look good, which is often a lot easier anyway. It takes you out of your own head and makes you more attentive and focused on the other person, so that you can respond to and amplify the good thing they do.


>Thanks for the summary. I haven't read the book yet, but I'll have to sometime.

You should. It's a short book (a few hours to read), and then you can tell everyone you've read it, since it's one of the first things that gets asked when leadership skills are in play (most people don't seem to fixate on the importance aspect like I did, though).

IMO researching psychology will pay more direct dividends than researching any other field. A lot of the stuff you run across is intuitively true and you can immediately recognize it throughout your life. Doing the research gives you a vocabulary to describe it and heightens your awareness significantly, enabling you to better utilize the social skills that we all have hiding under the covers somewhere. :)

It is important to carefully select your material, though, because there is a lot of nonsense pop psychology out there. I would avoid the more general, mass-appeal stuff and stick to the classics starting out.

>It's interesting that on one side you have Carnegie's "make them feel important to make them interested in you" and on the other side you have the pick-up artists' (I'm not defending them) "neg them to make them interested in you". In one variant you lift the other person up and in the other you push them down, both with the idea of wanting them to talk to you more.

Well, there is some nuance here.

Pick up artists suggest starving the mark of attention because that sends a signal that you are important, which sets them up to believe that they're important too when you do finally impart attention.

On the other hand, giving too much attention to a person sends the signal that you're too available, that you don't have anything else going on. That creates the impression that if no one else is interested in your time, it may not be valuable.

Since important people don't hang out with unimportant people, this causes the potential partner to worry about their association with you, and how it may affect their importance, both in the absolute/real sense and in the perception of others.

I haven't gone deep into the pick up artist scene, so I'm not really familiar with the intricacies of "negging". I'm sure that a lot of parts of it are way overboard. But they are correct that in seduction, few things are quite so fatal as the whiff of desperation. It devalues everyone involved.

>what it does is it shifts your focus from what you can do to look good yourself to what you can do to make the other person look good, which is often a lot easier anyway. It takes you out of your own head and makes you more attentive and focused on the other person, so that you can respond to and amplify the good thing they do.

Also yes, I think this is one of the keys too. The better you can approximate and relate to the POV of the other individual, the better you're going to do. Structures and activities that close this gap are crucially important to happy relationships.


It did click with me. Thanks to my wife who is very sensitive, warmly & calmly outgoing (but never intrusive) and considerate, I gradually learn to respect almost everybody.

Having in mind I screwed up so much in my life also taught me humility; I judge people less and less with each passing day.

Those two things help a lot when talking to people in both casual and professional settings.


The best way to make an impression on someone is to ask questions about them until you find some

Yes, but you have to be careful or you can make the person feel like they are being interrogated. Maybe not quite to the level of shining a bright light in their face and asking "where were you at 8:00pm on the night of January 23rd", but still, an endless stream of questions - done poorly - can make people feel uncomfortable even if it is true that "people love talking about themselves".

You may laugh at this, but some of the best advice I've heard on this subject came from Kezia Noble, a lady who teaches "pickup artist" material. Except... she bills herself as part of that world, but in reality her material is just general conversation skills which can be applied in pretty much any context.

I don't feel like trying to type up a complete rehash / summary of her technique here, but a big part of it involves distinguishing between "high value" answers to questions, and "low value" answers, and figuring out how to branch off from the high value answers in a way that keeps the other person engaged. There's also an element about making statements instead of just asking questions, etc.

Just to illustrate, here's a really made up example of how this might go:

You: "So, where did you go to school?"

Them: "Berkeley" (reasonably high value answer, but what to do with it??)

You: "Oh. So... what did you major in?"

Them: "Economics." (again, good answer, but can you do something with it?)

You: "Oh. Ah. Cool. So you must like math, huh?"

Them: "no". ("yes", "no", etc. are usually low value answers that don't lead naturally to anything else)

You: "Oh. Right. SO, um... do you like fishing?"

Them: "What? No. What is this, an interview?"

---------

On the other hand, here's how it could go:

You: "So, where did you go to school?"

Them: "Berkeley"

You: "Nice. Why did you pick Berkeley?"

Them: "Well, it has a reputation for great academics and a tradition of activism."

You: "Oh, yeah. My school ($WHATEVER) had a great academics as well, but not much activism." (statement instead of a question)

Them: "Activism is really important to me, especially around climate change. I wouldn't have gone to a school that didn't have that aspect."

You: "Cool. So what did you major in?"

Them: "Economics."

You: "Ah... so what's the connection between economics and climate change?"

--------

Anyway, you can kind of see the pattern. Elicit more complex responses, make statements, lead off of their complex answers, don't just suddenly branch off to something unrelated, etc.


These examples are so lame because they are both contrived. If someone is going to answer "yes/no" to you trying to make a conversation asking if they like math, they could easily shut down the other path as well.

For example:

You: "So, where did you go to school?"

Them: "Berkeley"

You: "Nice. Why did you pick Berkeley?"

Them: "It has a good academic reputation."

You: "A good academic reputation for what?"

Them: "CS research, rioting, etc. What is this, an interview?"


It is very hard to wireframe conversation that doesn't sound contrived. We generally call people who do this well "good writers".


Sure, but the point is that some kinds of questions are more likely to yield interesting conversations than others. Nothing is guaranteed, of course.


For what it's worth, I got your point through the examples and I think that posing the right questions to get to more fruitful territory is an excellent observation. The question is how to identify which questions lead to good conversation and which questions risk shutting it down. Avoiding obvious yes/no questions is one way, or at least use those questions sparingly, but try to go elsewhere.

I currently read the pen-and-paper RPG Microscope, and one rule in the game is that before a scene you select a question to direct the action. The scene concludes when the question has been answered. There's no game master so all players collaborate to create characters and answer the scene question.

The game text says "The best questions are extremely specific. Vague questions are bad and lead to confusing or muddled scenes. Open-ended questions can work, but you will get much better scenes out of very loaded or incriminating questions."

The game goes on to list examples:

"If you have an idea you want to explore, don't hesitate to stack the deck and make your question more specific. A simple formula is to just add more conditions or 'even though' twists to establish clear issues.

'How does the Alliance beat the invaders?' is a good starting point, but that's a very open-ended scene.

'How does the Alliance beat the invaders even though they're outnumbered and outgunned?' is more specific. We have a better idea of the situation.

'Is the Alliance willing to sacrifice the colony on Sigma VII to beat the invaders even though the colonists will get slaughtered in the process?' is better still because it gives us a clear situation, an obvious dilemma."

Finally, on good questions:

"It may not immediately be clear why a question is interesting. Don't be alarmed. Once you ask the question, the other players get to jump in and run with it. They may have ideas you didn't even consider. So long as your question gets everyone on the same page about the scene, you're in good shape."

This relates to what hueving said. The game assumes that the other players want to turn your questions into something interesting, and that you collaborate to create something great. If the other players are hostile or indifferent, they can ignore your question and take the scene in a completely different direction so that it never ends, but the point is that some questions have a better chance of keeping things on track. The same with other people. If you're talking to someone indifferent to hostile, they can obviously shoot down all conversation, but if they're indifferent to positive, you may have a chance to interest them.

I looked up Kezia Noble on YouTube, having never heard of her. I think your summary of what she says was more interesting than her videos, at least the first one I watched on how to specifically talk to women in the fashion industry. But in another video she said something interesting on posing questions that take the other person off auto pilot. If you ask "So what do you do?" and they answer "I'm a teacher." and you say "Do you like it?" they'll probably say "Oh, it's OK." or something similar. They (and you) are on auto pilot, and have probably both had this exact exchange before with other people. If you instead ask "So what made you choose teaching?" you'll perhaps take them off script and force them to think, which is a good thing because it makes them more engaged in the conversation. I think it relates to the RPG suggestions above to be a bit more specific with the questions, and to try to add some kind of twist to the question to make the other person think.


I looked up Kezia Noble on YouTube, having never heard of her. I think your summary of what she says was more interesting than her videos, at least the first one I watched on how to specifically talk to women in the fashion industry.

Oh yeah, I should have considered that if somebody went looking for her on Youtube they might find something different than the material I watched. Some of her stuff is straight-up "how to meet women" stuff, but quite a bit of it isn't. In particular, I'm thinking of her program called, IIRC, "The Ten Hook Lead System".

But in another video she said something interesting on posing questions that take the other person off auto pilot. If you ask "So what do you do?" and they answer "I'm a teacher." and you say "Do you like it?" they'll probably say "Oh, it's OK." or something similar. They (and you) are on auto pilot, and have probably both had this exact exchange before with other people. If you instead ask "So what made you choose teaching?" you'll perhaps take them off script and force them to think, which is a good thing because it makes them more engaged in the conversation.

Yep, that's more in line with the stuff I remember from her. And that applies to plenty of other contexts besides trying to "pick up" date or whatever.


Yup totally agreed.

Knowledge of NLP helps. Not practicing it consciously but understanding the theory behind it.

Is important to make a connection and pay attention to others. Too many people make it a one way conversation and walk away wondering why things didn't go better, meanwhile they were talking 80% of the time.

Any time you can make others feel included, and their opinion matters during a meeting the better things will go.


I studied a little bit of NLP, and definitely think it has the potential to be useful. But in reality, I rarely, if ever, use the stuff (at least not consciously).


Right, NLP as a "Science" is kind of crackpot, but there are some things in the texts that are truisms and worthy of note just because they are laid out concisely.

It can be very dangerous and malicious to use that basic knowledge of how to conduct a conversation to do what? .. "make people feel special and you care when you absolutely don't give a damn about them", and the conversation is purely a means to an end.

That said, it's nice to be nice, and much better to be inclusive, even if you needed to learn that from a pretty fringe bunch of theory.

[Edit] As a side note, I was first introduced to NLP when someone used it on me in person as a means to try to get me to work for an organized online credit card phishing operation and wanted me to move to Costa Rica.

It was a very strange experience and was effective up until the point I noticed what they were doing

Took me a few days figure out what had happened. I didn't know anything about NLP at the time and was kind of shocked that this was an actual thing.

Ended up calling the FBI.


I would love to hear the story behind this.


I really don't want to get into it, but it involved a beautiful Russian agent driving a BMW X5, baking implements and cup cakes. That's how it started.

Not the first time I've been approached by the Russians and to be clear I have nothing against them either, but if and when they do it again, please don't steal my paper towels or abuse my washing machine.

Right so reading that you probably think it is so fantastical that it can't possibly be true, or that it is so bizarre what I wrote that it makes no sense and I'm nuts. But there are people out there who know what happened and the truth is even more strange than I can share here.

Well I would agree with you on the weirdness, it was fantastical and it was bizarre, but it isn't the first time I've been approached by them or probably the last. The first time was in the early 90's just after releasing my DES hack thing. It just got weirder from there.

Honestly quite like the attempts in some ways, it's flattering, and she really was talented as were her friends. Cute too.

So to them, please go ahead and try again but next time, leave the Costa Rica thing out, or at least make it somewhere a little more temperate.

I really have no problem working for the intelligence agencies as long as it is for a good reason.

Just be honest.


>Elicit more complex responses, make statements, lead off of their complex answers, don't just suddenly branch off to something unrelated, etc.

Absolutely no need to optimize here. Just do what Dale Carnegie told on the book: "Become genuinely interested in the other person".

Interview questions like that will always sound like an interview.


>Them: "Activism is really important to me, especially around climate change. I wouldn't have gone to a school that didn't have that aspect."

Off topic, but this is so cringe-worthy...


Keep in mind, I was just trying to spew something out that illustrated getting a person to talk about something important to them, and not just a series of one word answers. I don't intend to make any statement about Berkeley, people who attend Berkeley, or any statement about climate change, economics, math, etc. :-)


...Why?

I'm actually genuinely curious why you feel that way, assuming the person is sincere.


For one, because where you go to college and whether the school has some student level "activism" about climate change has zero (or even negative) impact on actual climate change.


Please see my reply to the sibling comment, which addresses what you say here.


If you care about climate change, having protects in one of the biggest echo chambers in the US university system is about the least effective thing you can do.

It's also completely unrelated to the quality of education you will get so it's stupid to tie your school selection to that. It's like choosing a campus based on one with the most red-colored buildings.


Two points:

1. I parsed the statement slightly differently, in that having a campus full of activism was important, not specifically climate change.

2. Activism requires learning and networking, so it makes sense that if you want to learn that skill and form a network fresh out of high school, you would go somewhere there's an established network to join and many mentors to be found. It's much more like choosing a school because their alumni organization has connections you're interested in or has business ties to an industry you want to get in to or has a famous athletics program or any of the not-strictly-academic reasons that make sense from a career development perspective.

If the person seriously wants to be an activist, even in a non-professional capacity, it makes sense to go somewhere they develop that part of you (even if they don't have the best academics).

It's nothing like choosing one based on red building count.


> where were you at 8:00pm on the night of January 23rd

HAH! There was no 8:00pm on that night! Time skipped from 7:59pm to 9:00pm! Nice try.


Chris is an amazing person who takes the time to get to know you.

When we were fundraising, instead of having us do a regular pitch he took me to an event where Peter Thiel was giving a talk about his new book. We were a chess education company, so he thought it would be good for us to talk with Thiel as he's a chess master himself.

He didn't end up investing in us but my experience with him was much more memorable than any of the other meetings we had while fundraising.


How much funding did you seek for a chess education company?


It was called Chesscademy and we were raising $750k.

We were tackling the adaptive learning problem by creating tailored curricula. The plan was to move outside of chess to other subjects as we grew, but we found monetization to be very difficult.


Id love some opinions on a couple networking questions I have. I'm looking for a new job currently and I'm trying to be more proactive in networking. Is it presumptuous to cold email somebody and ask them for coffee? I imagine everyone is busy and doesn't have time for coffee with strangers, but I really hate talking on the phone. And if the person I am emailing is someone I want to work for, should I be upfront about looking for a position or should the initial email be more of a request for an informational interview on the industry or company?


If you're talking to a hiring manager, it's literally their job to hire you. It's probably at least a third of what they're responsible for at their company. You're basically asking them for a "people review" instead of a code review.

What you absolutely should do is lay out the basic information quickly and completely for them.

""" Hi Name,

My name's X and I #{was referred to you by Y, heard about you on Z...} and I'm looking for a $ROLE job. You're interesting because Q.

I'm in your area and wondering if you'd be interested in having coffee to talk about the role? I've attached my #{resume, linkedin, github with a note about what project to look at for a code example.}

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

~ $NAME $CONTACT_INFO """

That's the information I want to figure out if it's going to be a good use of time or not.

You can send me a practice email personally to earl@apolloagriculture.com and I'll give you some feedback, or if you're in Nairobi by some fluke chance we can grab coffee.


Why are hiring managers thinking that way, though? I was in the process of finding a new job a few months back and mostly what the HR people did was matching words from CVs and job descriptions and then handing off the whole process to the actual management of the company. Often it was a mismatch. It's like inviting the first level support from your telco company to coffee because your internet is not working.


Personally, I'm always happy to hear from people who are genuinely looking to learn about my industry, get advice, etc. I'm busy, but coffee is easy, especially when they're willing to come to my location.

I'd say it's a "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take" situation. So ask!

Given that you've decided to ask, get a warm introduction if at all possible. Get a mutual acquaintance to introduce you, even over email. Don't have a mutual acquaintance? Start with who you know and build your network outwards. Alternatively, reach out in the context of that person's public activity: attend the same Meetup, comment on a blog post, etc.

Cold emailing will work best if you have several leads, so you can tolerate a lower success rate.


Even if it's presumptuous, what's the worst that could happen? I think you should email and see what happens.

As a consultant and employee, I would be a bit surprised by such an email because I'm not in a position to hire people. But my manager is always looking for people and we have a referral bonus system, so I would get some money for introducing someone to my manager who gets hired. Both me and my manager would have selfish reasons for seeing you, apart from just being nice people that want to help others out.

If you suggest a coffee close to their office, I don't see a problem. They'll either ignore your email, tell you they're busy, or meet up. I would definitely suggest that you make your intentions clear that you're looking for a job, but also that you're interested in learning more about the job or the industry. I would also suggest that you say how you found the person, otherwise they may be more suspicious or confused. Just say if you found them on LinkedIn, on the company website, or wherever, so that they know where you're coming from.

Good luck!


Coffee is a lot of trouble. I think you will have more success just emailing a very brief pitch with something more detailed attached.


I'm in this camp too. Always happy to email back with info to help someone, but not always interested enough to want to meet up, or might just be busy. If you give people the option of either, they can choose what suits them best.

I also vastly prefer email over calls.


These are good techniques for working a network but you'll need better advice than "be human" if you want to be influential.

Networking is overrated. Figure out what you're good at and make sure people hear about it. The network will take care of itself.


The "make sure people hear about it" part is non-trivial, and assumes that you already have a minimal audience that cares about your work.

In other words, you're already networking when you're trying to get people to pay attention to you. The article provides a set of practical lessons intended to help you with that.


Excellent book on this topic is "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0076DDBJ6


Networking is one way of making sure people hear about it. And depending on what the message is, possibly the most effective.


> "be human"

"The key is authenticity. If you can fake that, you can acheive anything."


From John Oliver's piece on Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner the other night:

Oliver then cited Ivanka’s 2009 book, The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life, in which she wrote: “Perception is more important than reality. If someone perceives something to be true, it is more important than if it is in fact true. This doesn’t mean you should be duplicitous or deceitful, but don’t go out of your way to correct a false assumption if it plays to your advantage.”


I feel like that quote is being taken somewhat out of context; she's basically repeating an extremely common "business-ism": "their perception is your reality".

Let's say you sell widgets. Your customers become convinced that you widgets have a defect that causes them to break after 2 months of use.

You're frustrated because you know via extensive testing that this is a misconception, but it doesn't matter.

You need to take whatever reality is (your widgets are fine), and make sure that peoples' perception of your widgets is that they are fine also. People don't make decisions based on objective truths, they make decisions based on their own perceptions, regardless of how faulty those perceptions might be.


I feel like this piece starts with the assumption that we should WANT to be well connected. Being that well connected, however, doesn't come without costs (in time and effort, mainly).

I don't think I want to be this well connected.


Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone" compares networks to gardens that must be actively maintained along with attendant and relevant gardening analogies (care/attention, pruning, growing, etc).

I read Never Eat Alone about 10 years ago and, similar to yourself, didn't like the idea of maintaining a massive network. But many of these ideas can still be positively (not necessarily profitably) applied to your smaller social graph, resulting in stronger relationships amongst immediate or extended family, and friends you make a conscious effort to stay in touch with.


>Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone" compares networks to gardens that must be actively maintained along with attendant and relevant gardening analogies (care/attention, pruning, growing, etc).

I wonder how introversion/extroversion fits into the world of "networking theories"? I can certainly see that some people might really enjoy tending that particular garden, and in fact "connecting with people" might be their main source of enjoyment. While to others that seems like endless drudgery.


He cites Contactually for managing his network, which seems nice, but it's too expensive for me and I generally prefer self-hosted solutions. Does anyone knows of good alternatives?


Hey there - I'm Zvi, CEO of Contactually. Honestly, if cost is a major factor for you, you can build a spreadsheet tool that can work really well. However, it takes the same discipline that Contactually or any other tool would require - just a bit more time.

If you really love self-hosted, SugarCRM is the main open source CRM out there.


> If you really love self-hosted, SugarCRM is the main open source CRM out there.

Sugar has its own problems: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14181662


Thank you, your service seems great and well worth it's price but I really can't afford $500/y specifically for this right now. So far I've been playing the spreadsheet game but it does take a lot of time - I may eventually write a little django crud/workflow app one of these days... sugar codebase scares me!


I am interested in working on an application focused on personal use that can be self-hosted. Using Airtable in the meantime.

Agreed that most apps in this space are huge and focused on business and sales. I am more interested in software that helps cultivate personal, offline relationships -- as opposed to ScaleMail and such.


What feature would win you over for such an app?

For me it would probably be the app proactively reminding me "hey, you marked this person as important but haven't contacted them for a month". Even if this can become a bit annoying it still keeps you in the loop and puts a thought at the back of your head.

<insert it's something meme here>

Another one would probably be the app automatically stalking the person and informing you if they're about to participate in an event where a keyword / tag matches your interests. (That sounds pretty tough to do however.)


The the tech realm: drink coffee and/or alchohol (much more effective).

It's getting better but these are often prerequisites to spending time with people outside of work.

Edit: I agree with a lot of this discussion: Do startups have a drinking problem? | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11723133


Cafes and bars do sell other beverages. Drink juice, or soda, or sparkling water. Order a virgin cocktail.


I try to take meetings at Samovar Tea Lounge in SF when possible. Tea is less punishing.


As a developer evangelist for years, I've found the most important question to ask people is also the simplest:

"What are you working on right now?"

Some people will talk about their job, their side project, their hobby, their kids, or whatever. And you can see their passion and what excites them. If you know something about the topic and can ask an intelligent question or two, even better.


I wanted to ask an open ended question : how important do you think it is to be well-connected? I am sure if someone spent a lot of time going to plenty of networking events and put serious effort into talking with people, then they could grow their network pretty fast. But every minute spent in networking is a minute not spent in doing something else. So how do you set your priorities?


It really depends on what you want to accomplish, if you're an engineer, love your job and would be happy doing it for the next 4 years, there's probably not too much to gain. If you're an investor, your network is everything.


Yes, agreed. But I guess an engineer would want to make career progress too, right? Isn't it smart to be networked to ensure that you are at the forefront of opportunity?

As an aside, I was in the academia previously and it seems that networking is highly correlated with success there.


This struck a nerve in me.

What I found to be true over 15 years of a programmer carreer is that you can grow in your current job, but not by much. There exists some kind of psychological barrier for the people above you and they find all sorts of ways to put you down. Maybe it's just the money; who wants to spend more without knowing beforehand if they'll get more value?

So I'd say for a tech worker networking becomes extremely important if they are looking to move to a next step in their carreer, be it in terms of responsibility, money, new sub-area of work, or a mix of all.


> How to Become Well-Connected

> “If you find yourself keeping score in your professional relationships, you’re on the wrong track.”

Being "well connected" is an objective here, given it's lead by "how to". That intent leads to keeping score, so it's less than obvious how to resolve becoming well connected without keeping score.

Not giving a shit about what others think is the SECOND step to the enlightenment. The FIRST step is letting go of self judgment. Accepting self first allows one to realize that speaking for other's intent, even if they are blaming, may originate from their own self-judgements.

I no longer give a shit what anyone thinks about what I say because I realize I can only speak for my own choices and not others, not because I don't have empathy for other's thoughts. That's not to say I've perfected this technique however, I frequently catch myself blaming others when blame is going around. I can only set intent to become better myself. Others have the choice of doing the same, or not.


> I no longer give a shit what anyone thinks about what I say

I don't agree. I think it's important to take into account what other people think, otherwise you're saying "I'm an ass, deal with it". However, It's important to say what you mean, even if you know the person you are speaking to doesn't agree.


Trimming someone's comment to suit a desired reply is akin to speaking for someone. Read the comment again. Empathy for others is included. Accepting blame (giving a shit) is not.


  I no longer give a shit what anyone thinks 
  about what I say
Why are you posting here then?


I liked the article but it doesn't explain how to start a network... much of its advice is about how to manage an existing one.

Examples: it mentions that you should sometimes offer stuff to people you already know, instead of only interacting to ask. But what to do when your network is nonexistent and you have nothing to offer?


Are you saying you have no skills or interests or abilities that you could share? And that you don't know any people at any level. Work colleagues, neighbours, people you meet/met in school/college/university. As for "things tovgive". - almost everyone has time, and can talk/be a pair of arms or legs, or can read something or drop something off.


I like to think of networking as being loosely analogous to an optimization process like gradient descent [1]. You start with an initial "guess" of what your optimal network could potentially be. In practice, this will be the people you already know through school, work or through friendships. From there, you follow an iterative process that improves that guess through successive iterations, consistently applying strategies like those described in the article.

It's hard to say when this process would "converge", but looking for an answer to that may be straining the analogy.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gradient_descent


Start with your friends in the business and ex colleagues.


Regardless of the other merits of the linked content, and the odd prevalence of these painfully content-free and fluffy First Round Review pieces on the HN front page, I think we can all agree that there is simply no such thing as a "landmark Forbes piece on nailing email introductions".


There are two things that I've always found that will immediately engage people and make a lasting impression.

1. How did you become who you are? People work hard to where they're at and they rarely get to tell their story - so I found that engaging them on this level allows them to reminisce a little bit about where they came from and most people will light right up.

2. Write hand-written notes. This is a lost art and Brian Chesky talks about how he learned from George Tenet the value of writing hand-written notes.

http://fortune.com/brian-chesky-airbnb/


TL:DR --> mostly email advice. Keep emails short. To the point. "no need to respond" is powerful. Follow up on whatever you say you will. Offer something before you ask for something.


How exactly is "no need to respond" powerful? Are you getting higher response rate just because of this sentence?


Sigh. Not a big fan of articles like these because it's different for everyone and there are a lot of variables that can make this a success or failure. There is not a play book for how to connect with people other than just not being a complete dick. There. I just gave you an awesome tip. Don't be a dick and people will want to talk to you. Be authentic. Not sure why people feel the need to write an article that serves as a reminder on how you can connect with people on a "real" level.


To well connect one need to focus on people they like due to their extra traits other than qualities and knowledge.


I met Chris during an Uber Pitch ride a few months back and just meeting him was a remarkable experience. Looking back, in the course of conversation he did use these "7 Rules for Making Memorable Connections" and they worked.


Come on HN and announce you are looking to drop some 50-100K seeds on 5 projects

Be ready to be hunted :)


There are many great points being made in the article, and in the comments - esp the comment about how this is a rehash of wisdom from Dale Carnegie.

I believe these kinds of posts need to have a corollary for introverts - folks that are shyer, more reluctant/reflective (thoughtful, perhaps), aren't great at small talk and find the prospect of starting a conversation intimidating. While I am naturally skeptical of any kind of 'people categorization' - I do think there are folks who find "networking" daunting. So, what should they do?

I think the first step is to acknowledge the importance of a good network of people that you can talk to - it is often a powerful source of diverse ideas (outside of your own bubble), mentorship, collaboration and even friendship. The reason I say this is because it is often easy to dismiss "networking" as something frivolous (it doesn't help sometimes when certain people hijack this word to mean lots of low-quality connections) or not-for-me or 'I am just happy doing my own thing' etc. I think a discussion about how networking helps us in various facets of life is important. I'd love to hear positive examples from others in this area.

The second step is to work towards a realization that most of the qualities that introverts likely possess - like "listening well" - are key to this "networking-thing". So you already possess a lot of the raw ingredients that are needed to have a good network of people.

The third step is to really value diversity - of ideas/opinions, knowledge and competence (e.g. "engineering" sometimes have reluctance in appreciating "sales"). Groups, companies, teams thrive when there is real diversity. This should make you want to talk to others who are doing different things in different domains (or same things as you, but differently)

And finally, realize that (and several folks points this out in the comments) it is not about "tricks" - i.e. don't lose your authentic self. But try to distil the "tricks" into more basic human tenets - e.g. if you are a curious individual genuinely interesting in learning more about technology (say), then "Convey genuine appreciation" isn't something you would need to fake.

The longer I work and observe other folks doing interesting things, the more I find that networking is a useful (even powerful) thing -- and I say this as an introvert and someone not proficient at networking (have a very small group of close friends). I often think "wouldn't it be cool to learn more about what this person is doing" or even "how did they do that!?", and lately (gradually) started acting on that impulse and wrote to some of those folks (that I wish to know and learn from). To my surprise, it was very rewarding. I met some very knowledgeable and interesting people -- even some that I learned from a lot. Just having a bunch of people that I can discuss different topics with - related to software, scaling, operations (or life in general!) has been rewarding.

Most of what I say here is obvious, but I just wanted to share this because I struggled (and continue to) with this whole "networking-thing". :)


Valuable comment, thank you for it.

I am not introverted at all, quite the contrary. For me the blocker however is a lack of patience, burn-out and being tired almost all the time.

The way out of this is of course exercise, good sleep, and above all -- don't think about networking as an obligation. When I started accepting the fact that networking is a very basic activity practiced by humans probably since the dawn of their existence, it started becoming easier for me to do it and I didn't have to fake a thing when meeting people.

It does feel rewarding indeed but I have long ways to go still. Learning to get out of my flat and actually go meet people at events is a hard thing to overcome. I guess in technical terms this is the initial bootstrap overhead and it'll become easier with time. :)


This reminds me of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. Absolutely one of the best books to read if you're looking to improve your social skills.


So full of clichés - blue sky brainstorm. What does it even mean? You don't need years of VC experience to know all of this is common sense.


Traditionally it has been politics and religion


This got to be the worst choice of colors for mobile I've seen in a long time. Can barely read it at max brightness.


Actually seems just that some css didn't load properly.


Grade A bellendery. There are so many holes in this I don't even know where to start.


Nice



So any form of advice is now dismissed as just being a sign of survivor bias?


Probably not. Depends on the claim and the logic behind it.




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