Waiting on Introductions

Everyone in the Valley knows the power of an introduction. Nothing can beat that very personalized, sincere, timely introduction from someone you know to someone you want to know. The right introduction can set the context and have so much influence that people lust after them, whether they are raising money, trying to recruit, or looking to invest in a new team. Because introductions are a form of social currency, the market for them can be flooded or scarce depending on the transaction. The reason I wanted to write this is to push the conventional wisdom a bit about the power of introductions. Theoretically, being introduced is the best route. But, in reality, when everyone is after the same introduction, especially in scarce markets, I’ve noticed some folks waiting and waiting for that introduction to come through, like waiting for an email from “that girl” or waiting by the phone for an important call. Sometimes, people wait for a long time. I’ve fell victim to this game, too. But, let’s think about it from the target’s point of view. They may or may not have been contacted by your mutual contact. If they have, they may have a number of requests sitting in their inbox. What if you waited a few days, and if the contact wasn’t made, you just wrote directly to the person you want to meet? Of course, you’ve got to be both brief and interesting, and specific about your request. I don’t think this will work in every situation, but I wanted to pass along something I only figured out today (perhaps late), which is: Introductions are great, but don’t waste time (your most valuable resource) waiting for them to roll in.