Keeping the conversation going

WelcomeI was on a panel a few weeks ago with some impressive VC’s who talked about connecting the dots.  I believe that someone who is an investor in the tech community was quoted as having talking about how connecting the dots eventually become lines.  I can’t remember who it was but I keep thinking about it.

I am and probably have always been a good networker.  In many ways networking is like dot connecting.  The conversation continues and you get to know each other better over the years.  The same goes for entrepreneurs and investors.  The art of keeping in touch is an important one.

Raising money is never fun and through the process you meet investors of all types.  Some will tell you that the company is too early for them.  Some will tell you that it is not the kind of thing that they invest in.  Some will want to see certain milestones before investing.  There is always something yet the key is keeping each investor engaged as the years progress.  You get to know the investor and they get to know you.  That could lead to them possibly investing in your next idea or investing in your company at a later stage or even thinking of  you for possible opportunities that they hear of.   It is essential to keep the conversation going.

There is also a game that must be played.  Years ago we met a very talented young artist.  He hated the gallery game.  He only wanted to be in the elite galleries from the very get go.  Had zero desire in starting out at one where they could help nurture him and get his work sold into some good collections.  Perhaps he could have used that as a stepping stone but he refused to do it.  He would not play the game. The only one that was hurt by it was him.  I truly believe he would have had a very different career path if he had played the game.  It might not be a fun game but sometimes it is what it is.

It is the same thing with entrepreneurs.  Raising money is not fun and keeping those conversations going isn’t either but it is part of the game.  If you don’t play it the only person that gets caught not being able to move their company forward financially is the entrepreneur because they did not keep the conversation going.

Don’t discount the importance of those dots.  As the saying goes eventually those dots become straight lines into the right door.