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.

Comments (Archived):

    1. Gotham Gal

      smart man.

    2. Gotham Gal

      although sometimes you have to be quicker with the dots than slower.

  1. William Mougayar

    It was Mark Suster who gave the lines/dots analogy http://www.bothsidesoftheta…Totally agreed that this analogy applies equally well to networking with people. They are part of the puzzle for moving things forward. It reminded me of Ted Livingstone’s (Kik) quote where he says his 3 P’s for success are: Product, People and Pezos.

  2. Eric Friedman

    Love this quote from Suster and use it often.

  3. Mario Cantin

    “Playing along with the game”. Thanks for the advice, I’ll keep it in mind, and I’m sure it’ll help when I feel like a hamster spinning the wheel.

    1. Gotham Gal

      it most definitely will. 🙂

  4. Brandon Burns

    it’s like you read my mind and wrote what i needed to hear this morning. 🙂

  5. awaldstein

    You are right of course. Although hard doesn’t carry how hard it is.Here’s the rub–if you can’t raise dollars you can’t build a company. It’s the litmus test for success and honestly the one that creates the greatest shrinkage along the road to success.

    1. Gotham Gal

      good test.

      1. awaldstein

        And one of my big learnings being involved with female founders and funders is that they, obviously, do it differently.I think the change that is happening is not that more VCs are funding more women owned businesses but moreso, that more women are making the funding decisions.This is the big change agent in my mind.

        1. Gotham Gal

          interesting. i also believe as more females get funded they become bolder and more confident about their businesses. that bleeds into the entire industry.

          1. awaldstein

            I think we are both right.The more I touch base with women entrepreneurs in business segments I never thought about before–gyms, restaurants, fitness, wellness, fashion–the more my eyes, as a long term tech advisor, get opened and the better I see opportunities–and the better I get at my job.

  6. pointsnfigures

    Totally agree with this. If one wants to build an entrepreneurial community in their town (as you have) it’s vitally important to make intros for entrepreneurs to potential funders and more importantly potential customers. Become a part of the connective tissue so a network forms. Support networks are almost as important as funding.