9 thoughts on “The Value of Friend-Raising”

  1. Very smart, and a lot more fun than dry old “networking”. But you have to keep your karma balance positive: don’t just think about what these people can do for you, but what YOU can do for THEM. I’ve “given away” many favors over the years, and am always thinking about making useful (to them) connections between people I know. I don’t think in terms of immediate return, but the returns have come in, in a big way, whether months or years later.}

  2. Great post, Wil. I completely agree with Deirdre. Honest friendraising (seeking mutual benefit) – and integrity in doing it – has consistently yielded amazing returns for me – sometimes many years later.}

  3. I have found it amazing how many of the successful people I know have a seemingly natural ability to not only network, but do so with a large number of people. Along with natural social skills, that allow them to participate in engaging conversations with almost complete strangers, data like names, phone numbers, email addresses seem to naturally settle into their memories to be easily accessed years later. Those of us with out this genetic talent must build a “Friendship-Development Plan” like Wil suggests in order to compete.}

  4. unknownfounder – love that pic.

    I was trying to point out that there is definitely a difference between making friends and networking or “friend raising”. The term “friend” here is probably mis-used.

    I wanted to write some more about the good karma aspect, in that you need to give more than you plan to recieve. I agree with that completely, but in 800 words or less I wanted to focus on the financial benefit which somehow seems to strike a more relevant chord for entrepreneurs!}

  5. Well put Wil. I’ve never been a super-diligent networker, but our strategy with this company is to be as wide open as possible with as many people as possible.

    We’re open about our business model, our technology, strategy, and tactics. We share a lot and get more in return.

    What we’ve found is that people really want to help you succeed. By sharing all the goodies, we end up developing real friends. Some of them turn into deep strategic assets for the company.

    I watch so many tech entrepreneurs hide their plans. They don’t trust anyone, fearing their ideas stolen. Then they ask, “why won’t anyone help me?” These guys are most certainly not friend-raising…}

  6. @ Mike – I don’t think you can be too secretive about a startup. I’m sure in some cases it can help, but generally speaking, if someone else can steal your idea just by hearing about it, you don’t have that strong of an idea.}

  7. Absolutely correct.

    Me too, founder of a new startup (Beezbox), I gonna do a “Friend raising” by proposing to all my LinkedIn contacts a great deal to getting into our project at a price that will be probably 1/10 the price proposed to VCs on the 2nd round.

    We got already 2 friends as investors (ticket is around USD 30K) and we’re looking about 10 of them
    For more info, check my blog: http://emergingworld.blogspot.com}

  8. Are all your LinkedIn contacts “Qualified Investors”? (http://invest-faq.com/articles/regul-accr-investor.html) If they are not you may run into trouble down the road. When a company I was involved with took an investing round we had to pay off all the previous investors who were not qualified so that our books were clean for a possible IPO or purchase by a public company… expensive use of funds and not easy to explain to investors that are being bought out because they are not rich enough to participate (anymore).}

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